EU fails to agree new Iran sanctions as Trump deadline nears
17 Apr 2018

The European Union failed to agree new sanctions against Iran on Monday amid Italy’s opposition and fears that punishing Tehran for its missile program and regional role would not stop U.S. President Donald Trump from abandoning a separate nuclear deal.

Speaking on the sidelines of EU foreign ministers’ discussions in Luxembourg, some diplomats said the outcome meant the EU might not make the U.S. President’s May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord.

The EU is eager to safeguard the pact, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions for at least a decade, but Trump has been a fierce critic.

He has threatened not to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran related to the agreement which sees the West mostly lifting extensive sanctions in exchange for the Islamic republic curbing its nuclear program.

Seeking to respond to Trump’s criticism of the nuclear accord and Tehran more broadly, France, Britain and Germany proposed directing sanctions at Iranian “militias and commanders” fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

They hoped holding Iran accountable for this could help convince Trump not to walk away from the nuclear agreement. But they ran into opposition by Italy, backed by Austria.

– By Gabriela Baczynska, Peter Maushagen, Reuters, 16 April 2018

Link here to the Reuters article

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