European Union has no intention to impose additional sanctions on Iran

Erika Holt
March 20, 2018

By May 12, Trump must decide whether or not to keep the USA in the nuclear deal by renewing waivers that presently shield Iran from crippling sanctions on its vital oil exports and central bank activities and other areas.

Stating that at the meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that took place in Vienna last Friday, all parties had agreed to fully implement the agreement, EU top diplomat added that in the ECFR meeting on Monday, 28 European foreign ministers believed that full implementation of the nuclear deal by all parties was of strategic importance for them and was considered to be a security issue for Europe and for the rest of the world. "That must also be discussed to reach a common position".

Any EU-wide measures would be the first significant punitive steps since the bloc lifted broad economic sanctions on Iran a year ago following the 2015 accord to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions for at least a decade. Some of them are keen to rebuild a business relationship that once made the EU Iran's top trading partner and its second-biggest oil customer.

"We'll discuss ways in which we can keep the full implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran", Mogherini said of the European Union strategy so far. According to media reports, the EU3 powers - France, Germany and the United Kingdom - are working on a proposal to meet Trump's demands through new sanctions.

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The comments by Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a television interview broadcast March 18 came less than two months before Trump must decide whether to extend USA sanctions relief to Tehran under the landmark deal.

Mr Corker, who opposed the nuclear agreement but backed legislation that the Trump White House says helped it pass Congress, told CBS' "Face the Nation" the deal seemed to be on borrowed time.

It said they must agree to "fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal" - which was sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama - or he would refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran. "And it doesn't feel to me that they are".

All the major power signatories to the nuclear deal except the U.S. are happy that Iran has complied with its provisions since it took effect at the start of 2016 but with Trump insisting that the JCPOA is so inadequate that it is "an embarrassment to Amercia", London, Berlin and Paris have been forced to look hard at moves that could be made to persuade the United States president to tolerate the retention of the accord.

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