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Europe backs Iran deal as 'best way' to counter nuclear threat

03 May 2018, 02:07 | Marta Robbins

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President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House on Friday

President of France stressed in the phone call that Tehran-Paris cooperation must be developed in all areas of mutual interest, saying "the European Union, in particular France, fully defend the JCPOA and we will definitely stay in it".

The Kremlin said Putin and Macron were both calling for "strict observance" of the hard-fought 2015 agreement, which Trump has threatened to torpedo.

Macron made clear that France would not follow the U.S. lead if Trump decides to withdraw from the agreement. Issues of world peace were on Macron's agenda for the state visit: He hoped to persuade Trump to keep the U.S.in the Iran nuclear deal and to develop a plan for dealing with the Syrian conflict.

But Macron told the Le Monde that she also is "constantly holding myself back".

France, Britain and Germany said in a joint statement on Sunday that there are "important elements that the deal does not cover", and have agreed to work toward a "new deal" that might address them, including Iran's ballistic missile work, its regional military posture, and its long-term nuclear activity.

Downing Street said May, Merkel and Macron also pledged to "continue working closely" with the USA on the issue, including on "those issues that a new deal might cover".

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On Sunday, newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, again reasserted opposition to the deal in it current form, calling Iran "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world". With the two-pronged goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and avoiding another war, they devised various carrots and sticks to shape Iranian and United States actions.

Russian Federation has said that there was "no alternative" to the agreement and that Iran's position on the issue was paramount, while Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has rejected any suggestion of rewriting the nuclear deal. Of course, it would be better for everyone if Trump agrees not to abrogate the nuclear deal.

"Our priority as an worldwide community remained preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon", said the statement from 10 Downing Street, referring to the three European leaders.

"Nobody knows what I'm going to do on the 12th", Trump told reporters this week.

These "challenges", including Tehran's ballistic missile program and its growing role in the Middle East, might be alleviated by a new deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on April 23 it was "either all or nothing".



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