EU backs under-fire Iran nuclear pact as Trump weighs future

BRUSSELS — European Union powers on Thursday urged U.S. President Donald Trump to endorse a key nuclear agreement with Iran insisting that the deal is essential for international security.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany threw their weight behind the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions and insisted that the Islamic Republic is respecting it.

“There is no indication today that could call into doubt Iranian respect of the agreement,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Brussels, after a meeting between the Europeans and their Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

Le Drian called on all parties to uphold the agreement, noting that “our American allies should respect it as well. There is no particular reason for any rupture.”

Under the accord, Iran slowed its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international economic sanctions. Trump is expected to decide by Friday whether to extend the sanctions relief or re-impose the restrictions his predecessor, President Barack Obama, suspended two years ago.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also noted that no one has put forward a plan that might be as effective in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“It’s incumbent on those who oppose the (deal) really to come up with that better solution, because we haven’t seen it so far,” he said.

However, Johnson said it is “legitimate and right” to focus in parallel on what Iran should do to ease the crises in Yemen and Syria.

Officials from major world powers and Iran meet roughly every three to four months to assess implementation of the deal, which is monitored by the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The 2015 pact is underpinned on the U.S. side by a presidential waiver of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran’s central bank.

U.S. officials and others familiar with the administration’s deliberations told The Associated Press that Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people.

The restrictions could hit some firms and individuals whose sanctions were previously scrapped. This might test Tehran’s willingness to abide by its side of the bargain.

The agreement does not stop countries from imposing non-nuclear related sanctions on Iran.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who hosted Thursday’s meeting, said that unity “is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, and preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region.”

Zarif noted in a tweet the “strong consensus in Brussels” that Tehran is respecting its obligations and that “Iran’s continued compliance (is) conditioned on full compliance by the U.S.”

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also underlined the importance of upholding the deal with nuclear tensions high in the Korean Peninsula.

“It’s absolutely necessary to have the signal that it’s possible by diplomatic approaches to prevent the development of nuclear weapons in a time where other parts of the world are discussing how to get nuclear weapons into force,” he said.

Just Posted

Longer wait times at Red Deer hospital’s ER due to staff shortage on weekend

“Right now we’re short staffed but it’s subsiding. It was critical Saturday evening”

Lacombe Legion Ladies Auxiliary celebrates 70 years

Community group supports local veterans and other community initiatives

Sylvan Lake Legion honours the memory of past president

A new podium at the Legion was dedicated to Steve Dills at a recent meeting

WATCH: Trekking through the foam in Red Deer

The fourth 5K Foam Fest was held at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer Saturday

WATCH: Red Deer residents protest for more equal family court treatment

Despite unfavourable weather, Matias Battauz was “stoked” to have three other people… Continue reading

WATCH: Farm Safety Day encourages Lacombe area students to stay safe

Lacombe County annual event helps keep accidents off the farm

Toronto police investigating drive-by shooting; fourth homicide in 24 hours

TORONTO — An unarmed woman was killed in a drive-by shooting in… Continue reading

Toronto Pride Parade to kick off amid tensions between LGBTQ community, police

TORONTO — Crowds of people have filled the streets of Toronto on… Continue reading

WATCH: Farm Safety Day encourages Lacombe area students to stay safe

Lacombe County annual event helps keep accidents off the farm

Lacombe Legion Ladies Auxiliary celebrates 70 years

Community group supports local veterans and other community initiatives

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Man shot dead in Surrey, B.C., ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Honda goal gives Japan a 2-2 draw with Senegal at World Cup

YEKATERINBURG, Russia — Senegal twice took the lead. Japan tied it up… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month