The European Union on Monday failed to agree on new sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported.
Speaking on the sidelines of EU foreign ministers’ discussions in Luxembourg, some diplomats said the outcome meant the EU might not make U.S. President Donald Trump’s May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord.
Trump, who has blasted the 2015 nuclear deal as “the worst deal ever negotiated”, in January decided to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran.
However, he made clear it was the last time he would extend the waiver and has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to “fix the terrible flaws” of the deal.
Trump sees three defects in the deal: a failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program; the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and “sunset” clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years. Trump wants all three strengthened if the United States is to stay in the deal.
The EU is eager to safeguard the pact, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions for at least a decade.
Seeking to respond to Trump’s criticism of the nuclear accord and Tehran more broadly, France, Britain and Germany proposed directing sanctions at Iranian “militias and commanders” fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
They hoped holding Iran accountable for this could help convince Trump not to walk away from the nuclear agreement. However, they ran into opposition by Italy, backed by Austria.
“It may be that the nuclear agreement is dead in the water anyway, so why risk emboldening the radicals in Iran and undermining our chances to win contracts there,” said one diplomat from the skeptical camp, according to Reuters.
But another, from one of the three European powers, noted the bloc still had four weeks to go, saying, “We are clearly heading there, though we need a bit more time.”
A third diplomat said it did not seem “very likely” that the bloc would now put new restrictions in place by mid-May.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.