Trump urged by top advisers to waive Iran sanctions, official says

Win McNamee-Getty Images North America—AFP

The foreign ministers of Britain, Germany, France as well as Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif, are expected to meet on Thursday morning with Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a statement issued on October 13, refused to certify Iran's compliance to the nuclear deal and asked Congress to decide about the fate of the nuclear deal.

"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.

"The deal is working ... keeping Iran's nuclear program in check", Mogherini said at a press conference.

Hailed by Obama as key to stopping Iran from building a nuclear bomb, the deal lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear ambitions.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the deal is "a crucial agreement that makes the world safer".

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

Mr. Trump faces a January 12 deadline to extend waivers of broad oil and energy sector sanctions that were critical in getting Iran's commitment to the Obama-era accord. The US State Department said on Tuesday the Trump administration was expected to decide on Friday.

Iran has ratcheted up threats to end cooperation on curbing its suspect nuclear programs if the administration refuses to waive the sanctions, a move that would effectively pull Washington out of the multilateral deal that Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation all agreed to with Tehran. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full US compliance", he wrote.

According to the Tehran Times, Behrooz Kamalvandi, the deputy chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Wednesday that Iran would ramp up uranium enrichment operations - the key process for developing nuclear bombs - to levels far higher than before the 2015 deal if the USA backed out.

Iran warned the world on Monday to prepare for the possible withdrawal of the United States from the landmark nuclear deal agreed in 2015. JCPOA is the official name for the deal.

The trigger points would address strengthening nuclear inspections, Iran's ballistic missile program and eliminate the deal's "sunset clauses" under which some of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program expire over time.

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