The European Union’s foreign policy chief says U.S. lawmakers have signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
Speaking to reporters in Washington on November 7, Federica Mogherini declined to comment on whether legislation pending before Congress that would attach additional conditions for U.S. sanctions relief would violate the landmark nuclear accord.
However, she said she “got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement.”
U.S. President Donald Trump last month refused to recertify the deal under which Tehran agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief.
In an address on October 13, Trump slammed Tehran for what he said are violations of the “spirit” of the agreement between six global powers and Tehran, in part for its continued testing of ballistic missiles and its support for extremists in the Middle East.
He asked Congress to strengthen a U.S. law related to the deal in order to put additional pressure on Tehran by setting up triggers for the imposition of sanctions.
The U.S. president also said he would seek the removal of so-called sunset clauses, which set expiration dates for some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program under the deal.
He threatened to withdraw the United States from the deal if his goals are not met, and has repeated that threat in subsequent remarks.
The European Union and the other parties to the deal — Russia, Britain, China, France, and Germany — have all urged Trump not to pull the United States out of the agreement.
Mogherini, one of the negotiators of the agreement, said that she stressed the importance the EU places on upholding the agreement in meetings with lawmakers in Washington.
“We want to see the United States continue its implementation in the future,” she said. “The EU has a security interest in keeping the deal working.”
Mogherini also reiterated that the agreement cannot be reopened for negotiation — a stance also held by Iran and the other signatories to the accord.
“If you reopen one part of it, the entire agreement is reopened,” she said.
— EU External Action (@eu_eeas) November 7, 2017
Via RFE/RL, with reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
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