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UK, EU partners ‘firmly committed’ to Iran deal: May tells Trump

Muslim Times(Web DesK) – British Prime Minister Theresa May has told US President Donald Trump that the UK and its EU partners will remain “firmly committed” to the Iran nuclear deal.

“The prime minister reiterated the government’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld,” Downing Street announced in a statement following May’s phone conversation with Trump on Friday.

The British premier discussed the potential impact of US sanctions on the companies currently operating in Iran and the two sides agreed to hold further talks over the issue, the statement added.

Earlier on the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement despite the US move to pull out of it.

The German chancellor had said a day before that Europe can no longer rely on the United States for protection, urging European Union member states to take the bloc’s destiny in their own hands.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire repeated a similar position on Friday, saying that European states have come to realize that they cannot submit to American decisions.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris on Friday, Le Maire added that Paris and its European allies are drawing up plans to submit proposals to the European Commission aimed at strengthening Europe’s capacity to defend its economic interests.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has reaffirmed the 28-nation bloc’s determination to make sure the Iran nuclear agreement is respected despite the US president’s decision to abandon it.

Mogherini is scheduled to chair talks between Iran’s foreign minister and his British, French and German counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The diplomatic campaign for keeping the nuclear agreement in place comes a few days after Trump defied protests and last-minute lobbying by his European partners and unilaterally decided to withdraw from the historic nuclear accord and impose new sanctions on Tehran.

According to Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, the Russian president plans to meet Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi on Monday to discuss the US exit from the Iran nuclear deal.

Ushakov noted that Russia was working closely with Iran to prevent it from making any decision to quit the JCPOA and noted that Moscow sees the deal as vital for global stability.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany reached the JCPOA in July 2015 after long negotiations.

Under the JCPOA, reached under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

After the announcement of Trump’s position on the JCPOA, the US Treasury said in a statement on its website Thursday that it imposed fresh sanctions on several Iranian individuals and entities.

The statement added that the Treasury had sanctioned six people allegedly tied to the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and three Iranian entities.

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