US will back off of Iran deal if Europeans commit to improving it


By Middle East News

In interviews and a State Department cable exclusively obtained by Reuters, the United States has made it clear it will not scrap the international nuclear deal with Iran.

The one condition is that European allies try to improve the deal over time. If this promise is agreed upon, U.S. President Donald Trump will renew U.S. sanctions relief in May.

Still, Reuters reports, the European allies aren’t sure what satisfy the U.S. president and are reluctant to make a commitment if it only leads him to ask for more.

So far, the cable obtained by the news agency sets a lower standard than Trump touted in January.

The 2015 agreement between Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States restricted Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanction lifts that have hurt the country’s economy.

The problems Trump sees with the deal are, according to Reuters, “its 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.”

A U.S. State Department official described the idea last week in an interview with Reuters.

The idea is that until May 12 the European allies must make agreements on the weaknesses in the deal that need to be fixed.

After this, they must take these thoughts to Iran, Russia and China and look for a way to address the issues.

The official told Reuters there are three ways to do this: “amend the existing pact, negotiate a supplemental agreement, or seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution to make the changes.”

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