European powers say nearing plan to save Iran nuclear pact

Posted by on April 25, 2018 3:25 pm
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BEIRUT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Western envoys said Britain, Germany and France were nearing a package to put to Donald Trump to try and persuade him to save the Iran nuclear agreement, even as Tehran poured more scorn on the U.S. president, dismissing him as a “tradesman”.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers remarks at a news conference during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Trump has described the 2015 agreement – under which Iran promised to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for lifted sanctions – as the worst deal ever negotiated and has threatened to wreck it by reimposing U.S. penalties next month.

In Geneva, the U.S. envoy on non-proliferation said Washington did not want to reopen or renegotiate the Iran deal but hoped to stay in it to fix its flaws through a supplementary agreement.

Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France, who all signed the accord with Iran and the United States, are determined to save the deal, seeing it as the best way to stop Iran developing a nuclear bomb.

Western envoys told Reuters on Wednesday that three months of meetings behind closed doors were culminating in a package of separate measures that could be taken against Iran in the hope they would satisfy Trump while keeping the nuclear deal intact.

“This is about convincing President Trump, it’s not a new deal with Iran,” a senior European Union diplomat said.

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