UK, France, Germany voice support for Iran nuclear deal

Apr 30, 2018, 02:17
UK, France, Germany voice support for Iran nuclear deal

The leaders of the UK, France and Germany have agreed that pursuing the current deal with Iran is the best way to stop it developing nuclear weapons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel separately on Saturday and Sunday to discuss the Iran deal as well as USA tariffs, according to No. 10 Downing Street.

A mystery is brewing at the White House about what happened to the oak tree President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted there last week.

Trump has threatened to leave the deal, which was negotiated by the previous Obama Administration.

The three countries also underscored the importance of keeping the existing deal, which they believe adequately addresses Tehran's nuclear work in the short term.

In 2015 the United States, along with other nations, struck a deal with Iran to end a 12-year standoff over that country's nuclear program, which was feared to be leading towards an atomic weapons capability. Macron's visit last week saw news media and social media make jokes about the seemingly intimate body language of Trump and Macron. Trump signaled openness to the idea, without endorsing it explicitly.

"The decision lies with the president", Merkel told a joint press conference after Trump complained about the US-European trade imbalance, particularly in regards to automobiles.

Merkel acknowledged that the Iranian nuclear deal is unlikely to resolve problems. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he expects the U.S.to withdraw support unless substantial changes are made to the deal. He also wants to scrap the deal's so-called "sunset clauses", one of which allows for the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear enrichment programme after 2025.

But Trump and America's Middle East allies argue that the deal was too weak and must be replaced with a more permanent arrangement, and supplemented by controls on Iran's missile program.

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