By Middle East Affairs
Washington’s disarmament ambassador said Thursday the United States hopes to reach an agreement with Britain, France and Germany over President Donald Trump’s concerns about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reported.
The agreement – signed by the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran – is in danger of falling apart if Trump’s demands aren’t met by May 12, which is when he is scheduled to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran.
The deal was cemented under former president Barack Obama’s administration and ensured that in exchange for relief on sanctions that crippled its economy, Iran would curb its nuclear missile program. However, Trump has threatened to pull out if the European signatories don’t address what he calls terrible flaws in the deal.
Germany, Britain and France have pressed the European Union to introduce new sanctions on Iran, mostly against individuals who back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his seven-year civil war on rebel groups. The European signatories hoped this would encourage Trump to stay in the deal.
U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said the United States is concerned about a Iran’s ballistic missile program, the 10-year sunset clauses for the limits on its nuclear activity and Iran’s meddling in Middle Eastern conflicts, Reuters reported.
“These issues have to be dealt with. We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Wood said at a news conference in Geneva.
The United States has also been pushing for U.N. inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to have more access to Iranian sites.
“We want the IAEA to get access to all the sites they need to. The Iranians obfuscate and deny, say they’ll offer access and then deny it. It’s important for the IAEA to go anywhere it needs to, including military sites,” Wood said.
Iran says its ballistic missiles would only be used for defense purposes.