By CÚcile FEUILLATRE, Dave Clark
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 18, 2017
France stepped up global efforts to convince US President Donald Trump not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal Monday, suggesting a way could be found to prolong its effects.
Trump has signalled he is ready to declare Iran in breach of its side of the 2015 accord -- which he has branded the "worst deal ever" -- as early as next month.
And if the White House "decertifies" Iran's compliance, this would open the way to the US Congress reimposing sanctions and perhaps provoke Iran to itself pull out.
The other world powers -- France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia -- who signed the accord continue to see it as the best way to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
But Washington argues that by pursuing a banned missile program and fomenting militant violence in its region, Iran is in breach of the spirit of a weak deal.
Not all US officials share Trump's total antipathy to the pact, but they want stronger controls on Iran's ability to resume weapons development when it begins to expire.
- Sunset clause -
America's European allies are desperate to save the deal and -- as world leaders gathered on Monday in New York for the UN General Assembly -- France spoke out.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that scrapping the "essential" agreement would launch a regional arms race between "neighboring countries."
But he also said: "France will try to persuade President Trump of the importance of this choice, even if it can be completed by work for after 2025."
Le Drian was speaking ahead of a meeting between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, who also suggested in a speech last month that the accord could be improved.
Under the deal, limits on Iran's uranium enrichment will begin to expire in 2025 under "sunset clauses" and critics have said this is the weakest part of the deal.
"It's essential to maintain (the agreement) to prevent a spiral of proliferation that would encourage hardliners in Iran to pursue nuclear weapons," Le Drian said.
Under the nuclear deal, Iran surrendered much of its enriched uranium, dismantled a reactor and submitted nuclear sites to UN inspection.
For their part, Washington and Europe lifted some sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program, while retaining others tied to its "destabilizing" actions.
Hawks in Washington, with winks from Trump and some in his inner circle, are calling for tougher sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program.
These, they argue, would not breach their side of the nuclear-only deal.
Meanwhile, Trump's top foreign policy officials, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have upped their rhetoric.
Haley went to Washington this month to deliver a speech laying out the case for Trump to find Iran in breach of the deal when he reports to Congress on October 15.
Tillerson is reportedly not convinced that destroying the accord is the best way forward, but tougher measures from allies would help him make this case to Trump.
- Iran, North Korea top UN agenda -
Iran and North Korea will dominate the annual gathering of world leaders, which opens on Tuesday with a series of addresses by Trump and Macron among other leaders.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.
Tillerson will join his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday for a meeting of the so-called E3+3 on the nuclear deal, chaired by the European Union.
Turning to North Korea, Le Drian said "very strong" pressure from sanctions would compel leader Kim Jong-Un to negotiate an end to his missile and nuclear programs.
"Military action is not required," said the foreign minister. "To bring North Korea to the negotiating table, the only possible way is to apply very strong pressure."
The UN Security Council last week imposed a new raft of sanctions on North Korea after it carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
The council will meet on Thursday to discuss ways of enforcing sanctions, which depends largely on cooperation from China, North Korea's largest trading partner.
Washington (AFP) Sept 14, 2017
The United States agreed Thursday to continue for now to exempt Iran from nuclear-related sanctions but slapped new measures on targets accused of cyber attacks or destabilizing the region. The decision to continue to waive the sanctions was expected, but the new sanctions and some tough words from President Donald Trump will be seen as a victory for opponents of the Iran nuclear deal. T ... read more
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|