Trump 'won't abandon Iran nuclear deal' as Congress drafts compromise

Trump 'won't abandon Iran nuclear deal' as Congress drafts compromise

On the eve of a deadline for US President Donald Trump to decide whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the agreement, the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini convened the meeting with the European powers to show support for the nuclear deal in a message to Washington, diplomats and officials said.

U.S. president Donald Trump will refrain from taking a significant measure that could have unravelled the Iran nuclear deal this week, and instead will continue to sign a waiver that would offer sanctions relief to Iran thus keeping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in place.

Iran signed the accord in 2015 with six world powers, agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of many worldwide sanctions.

Although Trump extended sanctions relief in October even as he decertified Iran's compliance with the deal, a recent spike in tensions could result in a change in tack.

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Trump must decide by mid-January whether to continue waiving U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports under the terms of the pact.

Congressional hardliners on Iran like Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton have called for the reimposition of sanctions, an end to the nuclear deal and the new sanctions on Iran.

"Actually Europeans played a very good role in past two or three months to prevent the US Congress from doing anything wrong regarding the JCPOA but I'm not sure they can do the same with President Trump himself".

The EU and other world powers have repeatedly warned it would be a mistake to abandon the deal, thrashed out with Iran over 12 years by the US, Britain, France, China, Germany and Russian Federation.

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"We greatly value the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment, it's a way of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and Iran is in compliance with this agreement according to the International Atomic Energy Agency", Johnson said.

Prior to that, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Monday that Tehran might reconsider its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if the USA reneged on sanctions relief.

"Iran has fully lived up to its commitments regarding the deal as it has been repeatedly, 10 times, confirmed by the IAEA".

Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif attends a EU3-Iran meeting at EEAS headquarters in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 11, 2018.

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