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French president tells Trump all must respect Iran nuclear deal

French President Emmanuel Macron has told his US counterpart Donald Trump that all the signatories to the Iran nuclear deal should respect the terms of the agreement.

In a Thursday phone conversation with Trump, Macron reaffirmed France’s determination to see “the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it,” AFP quoted the Elysee Palace as saying in a statement.

Trump, for his part, said Iran must stop what he called “its destabilizing activity in the region,” the White House said.

Earlier in the day, European powers reaffirmed their determination to preserve Iran’s nuclear agreement against the backdrop of US efforts to undermine the landmark multinational deal.

After a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain took turns to deliver a statement in defense of the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).In a post on his Twitter account, Zarif said there was “strong consensus” in Brussels about Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain, but further adherence was conditional to Washington’s compliance with the JCPOA.

The high-level talks in Brussels came as the US president is expected to decide on Friday whether to extend waivers on nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

From left to right, French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini give a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels following a meeting about the Iran nuclear deal on January 11, 2018. (AFP photo)

Trump had in October 2016 refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal in defiance of several reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirming Tehran’s full commitment.

He stopped short of withdrawing from the deal, leaving it to Congress to decide whether to re-impose nuclear-relations sanctions on Iran within a 60-day period.

Congress, however, passed the ball back to Trump by letting a mid-December deadline pass without making a decision on the issue.

While the JCPOA is solely about Iran’s nuclear program, the Trump administration claims that Tehran’s growing regional influence and achievements in its conventional missile program violate the “spirit” of the nuclear deal.

Iran and other signatories to the JCPOA have warned against the adverse consequences of a possible US move to step away from the landmark agreement, saying it would be counterproductive.

Since the JCPOA’s implementation, the IAEA has been verifying and monitoring Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the accord and has consistently verified the Islamic Republic’s compliance.

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