London, Paris, Berlin Propose New Iran Sanctions to Meet Trump Ultimatum
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran, according to a confidential document, in a bid to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The joint paper, seen by Reuters, was sent to European Union capitals on Friday, said two people familiar with the matter, to sound out support for sanctions against Iran’s missile program as well as its regional role as they would need the support of all 28 EU member governments.
The proposal is reportedly part of an EU strategy to save the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), namely by showing US President Donald Trump that there are other ways to counter Iranian power abroad.
Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories on Jan. 12. It said they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” - which was sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama - or he would refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran. US sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.
“We will therefore be circulating in the coming days a list of persons and entities that we believe should be targeted in view of their publicly demonstrated roles,” the document said, referring to Iranian missile tests and Iran’s advisory presence in Syria at the official request of Damascus.
European Union foreign ministers will discuss the proposal at a closed-door meeting on Monday in Brussels, diplomats said.
Analysts say the nuclear agreement could collapse if Washington pulls out.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif struck a defiant note towards Washington on Friday.
“If the United States makes the mistake of pulling out of the JCPOA, it will definitely be a painful mistake for the Americans,” Iranian state television quoted Zarif as saying.
The commission overseeing the nuclear accord said on Friday in Vienna that Iran was meeting its obligations under the deal.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.
Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up to their undertakings.