Russia, Iran say to adhere to nuclear deal

Russia, Iran say to adhere to nuclear deal

The meeting comes one day before a US deadline requiring President Donald Trump to once again decide whether the USA will continue backing the deal.

After meeting his Iranian, French, German and European Union counterparts in Brussels, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted the deal was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The 2015 agreement was brokered by the Obama administration - along with the UK, Russia, France, Germany and China - obliging Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of sanctions that had for years crippled its economy.

"If President Trump reimposes broad sanctions now, the Iranian government will again be able to deflect blame for its own economic problems onto the United States-undercutting the protestors' efforts to drive real change in Iran".

Zarif did not join the post-meeting press conference but tweeted: "Strong consensus in Brussels today: 1) Iran is complying with #JCPOA, 2) Iranian people have every right to all its dividends, 3) Any move that undermines JCPOA is unacceptable".

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Trump has been a harsh critic of the JCPOA, saying Iran got too much of a benefit while giving up too little. It is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check and under close surveillance.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian directly urged the USA to stay on track with its commitment to the landmark deal. Expect the White House to double down on non-nuclear sanctions and generate enough uncertainty to dampen investor confidence in Iran, hindering its economic recovery and further straining relations. Iran's supreme leader blamed foreign influence for the protest.

"We do not hide other disagreements, which exist. both in the ballistic field and over Iran's actions in the whole region", Le Drian said.

"In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the USA should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) which remains vital to US national security", it said.

The EU played an important role in brokering the nuclear deal and has continued to back it despite Trump's opposition. Others, like Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, argued that taking a nuclear threat off the table - however temporarily - made it easier to squeeze a recalcitrant Iran for its other bad acts.

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U.S. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steven Goldstein has said that Trump will announce his decision on Friday.

Trump may also reimpose the nuclear sanctions by executive order at any time.

"Iran is ready to increase the speed of its nuclear activities in various areas, especially enrichment, several times more than pre-JCPOA era", said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in an interview with state television, using the technical acronym for the nuclear deal. We greatly value the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran.

"We should separate two things from each other: we want to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran. and the hard role Iran has in the region", Sigmar Gabriel said.

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