EU, France, Britain, Germany Say to Protect Iran Deal

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In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as Iran nuclear agreement with the United States and other five world powers; Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

President Donald Trump is expected to agree this week to continue granting Iran a reprieve from sanctions over its nuclear program, while again signaling his displeasure with the global nuclear deal that lifted the penalties, US and European officials, congressional aides and others said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is privately reluctant to waive sanctions on Iran despite recommendations from advisers that he do so and will seek to make a decision during a meeting with national security aides on Thursday, a senior administration official said.

European Union officials and the German, French and British foreign ministers earlier met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels to stress their determination to keep the deal in place.

At a meeting with Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, convened by the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini, the European powers that helped negotiate the 2015 accord in Vienna will reassure Tehran they remain committed to it.

The US president has until Friday to pledge continued support for a landmark worldwide deal with Iran over its nuclear programme.

The Iran nuclear deal has been given continued support by Europe after talks in Brussels.

It's not clear whether Congress will live up to the administration's hope for new legislation authorizing more the more targeted sanctions or other changes to the USA commitments under the deal.

Foreign ministers of Germany, France and United Kingdom meet Iranian counterpart in Brussels. But during the 2016 election campaign all his closest foreign policy advisors, such as Michael Flynn, shared a worldview that portrays Iran as an uniquely malign actor in the Middle East and beyond.

The Europeans say these issues should be kept separate from discussion of the nuclear deal, but in a nod to USA concerns, Mogherini stressed they were raised with Zarif at Thursday's talks. He also faces another deadline to tell Congress whether he will "certify" that Iran is complying with the deal and that it is serving the interest of the United States.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly said Iran is keeping up its side of the agreement, most recently in November. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full US compliance", he wrote.

Iran has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, leading the Islamic Republic to imprison thousands of people.

Such measures, said Mr. Zarate, "would be consistent with the agreement's allowance for the application of non-nuclear sanctions".

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