Threat of nuclear pact changes draws ire of Iran

Threat of nuclear pact changes draws ire of Iran

US officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told the Associated Press that Mr. 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.

But the angst in Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris underlined what is at stake: the mercurial United States president is quite capable of sabotaging the agreement.

America's allies see the accord as the best way to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions and a victory for multilateral diplomacy. Tehran categorically denies it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

According to the White House, any new Iran deal would have to cover Iran's ballistic missiles and limit its nuclear breakout period indefinitely. But his explicit warning to Europe that the deal must be fixed by the time the next sanctions waivers are due in the spring creates a high-stakes diplomatic deadline that will be hard to meet.

Trump stopped short for a third time of re-imposing harsh sanctions meant to push Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons research.

He urged Iran to remain calm and continue to fulfil its obligations under the deal.

While there may be some relief that Trump has yet to torpedo the hard-won accord, there were clear signs of frustration from European capitals in the runup to the decision.

The accord, he added, can be considered "either good or bad, but it is the only one that reflects this consensus", Peskov added at a press conference.

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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.

"This is a last chance", the United States president said in a statement on Friday.

In any event, the USA is likely to impose new sanctions on Iran over human right abuses and support for foreign extremist groups rather than nuclear back-sliding.

"Is he bluffing? I don't think so".

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes, a big miscalculation in American policy", he said.

The agreement, she said, is "making the world safer and... preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region".

"So Trump now has issued explicit May deadline to Congress and Europeans: Fix Iran nuke deal or no more sanctions waivers", wrote Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies.

Iran has said that if the U.S. walks away from the agreement, it is ready to give an "appropriate and heavy response". But he said he would work with European allies to remove so-called "sunset clauses" that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade.

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