Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump will pull out of Iran nuclear deal, leading senator predicts

Trump will pull out of Iran nuclear deal, leading senator predicts

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's sacking shows that Washington is set on quitting the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Iran's deputy foreign minister said Wednesday.

"If some European countries go after imposing non-nuclear sanctions on Iran to appease the United States president, they would make a big miscalculation and will see its impact on the deal and its continuation", Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.

"We share all the concerns with the missiles, with the regional destabilisation, with the support to terrorism, with the malign activities of Iran", one European diplomat said.

"Changing the Iran agreement would be bad for US negotiators on North Korea", said Philip Yun, executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, an NGO dedicated to containing the spread of nuclear weapons.

The United States, Britain, China, the European Union, France, Germany and Russian Federation will meet there at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters for a meeting of a committee tasked with settling issues that arise.

The steps would go beyond what a US State Department cable seen by Reuters last month outlined as a path to satisfy Trump: simply committing to improving the nuclear deal.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of crippling global sanctions.

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European Union foreign ministers are expected to affirm that they believe the deal with Iran is good, and work to discourage Trump from pulling out of the deal in May.

Trump said that he and Pompeo "have a very similar thought process" on the deal.

"In actions and by experience it's been seen that the policies and approach of America can not be trusted very much", Qassemi said, according to state media.

"We will not accept any changes, any interpretation or new measure aimed at limiting" the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, the official, Ali Shamkhani, was quoted by AFP has having said. Pompeo "is certain to advise the president to withdraw the United States from our obligations under the nuclear agreement", said Diplomacy Works, a group of mainly former Obama administration officials that lobbies for staying in the deal.

European diplomats, as well as other signatories Russia, China and Iran, have effectively ruled out any renegotiation of the pact itself.

Iran's deputy foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi held negotiations on the eve of the committee's meeting with the European Union, Germany, France and Russian Federation before all sides sat at the negotiating table at the Palais Coburg Hotel in central Vienna.

"The president has instructed us to see if we can come to an agreement with the Europeans by May 12", said Mr Hook. The changes the administration is seeking include the indefinite extension of limits on Iran's uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities and an intensified inspections regime.

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