Vastavam web: Europe sought on Tuesday to find a way to save the Iran nuclear deal without the United States but was short on details about how the accord could survive the reimposition of U.S. sanctions ordered by President Donald Trump.British, French and German foreign ministers met the EU’s top diplomat in Brussels ahead of all four discussing the next steps with their Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, a week after Trump abandoned an agreement he branded a “horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made”.
Seeking to uphold what the European Union had considered its biggest diplomatic achievement in decades, the 2015 accord rests on allowing business with Iran in exchange for Tehran shutting down any capacity to build an atomic bomb.Highlighting just how difficult it will be, the U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions, including on Iran’s central bank governor, just minutes before the Brussels meeting was due to begin.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who held a meeting with Zarif earlier in the day, said there could be no guarantees made to Iran but stressed there were measures the bloc could take.Germany’s Heiko Maas echoed that view. But none of the four, when pressed by reporters, gave any details of their plans. Johnson spoke of the search for a “package of measures.”“Guarantees of benefits of the JCPOA should be given to Iran. We will have to see whether (those) remaining in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran,” he said on arrival in Brussels. He had earlier talked of just two weeks.
The deal between Iran and six world powers lifted most international sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme, under strict surveillance by the United Nations, to stockpile enriched uranium for an atomic bomb.The deal’s proponents say it is crucial to forestalling a nuclear Iran and preventing wider war in the Middle East. Britain, France and Germany say they are willing to address Trump’s concerns but that the nuclear deal is the best way to prevent Tehran from obtaining an atomic weapon.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also warned of the dangers of ditching the deal, adding that the Middle East was explosive and could be on the cusp of war.