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NUKEWARS
IAEA chief confirms Iran complying with nuclear deal
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Oct 9, 2017


'Negative consequences' if Trump quits Iran deal: Kremlin
Moscow (AFP) Oct 9, 2017 - Moscow warned on Monday there would be "negative consequences" if US President Donald Trump fails to uphold the landmark Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor.

Trump is a fierce critic of the 2015 accord, which he has called "the worst deal ever", and US officials say he intends to tell Congress next week that Tehran is not honouring its side of the bargain.

"Obviously if one country leaves the deal, especially such a key country as the US, then that will have negative consequences," Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said.

"We can only try to predict the nature of these consequences, which we are doing now," Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Putin has repeatedly hailed the importance of the existing deal, he added.

Trump is expected to announce that he is "decertifying" Iran's compliance with the agreement it signed to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

US officials insist this will not sink the deal itself but open the way for Congress to possibly develop new measures to punish other aspects of Iran's behaviour.

Resumed sanctions could derail the accord negotiated with Tehran by former president Barack Obama and other major world powers.

Congress requires the president to certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days. The next certification date is October 15.

Under the law, Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted by the deal.

The UN atomic agency chief on Monday affirmed Iran's commitment to a 2015 nuclear deal, in a statement that came as US President Donald Trump said Tehran was not living up to the "spirit" of the agreement.

"I can state that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the (nuclear agreement) are being implemented," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said in prepared remarks during a conference in Rome.

An IAEA report released last month had also affirmed Iran's compliance with the programme, which froze some of Tehran's nuclear activities.

Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium -- used for peaceful purposes, but when further processed for a weapon -- did not exceed the agreed limit of 300 kilos (661 pounds), the report said.

It added that Iran "has not pursued the construction of the Arak... reactor" -- which could give it weapons-grade plutonium -- and has not enriched uranium above low purity levels.

The landmark deal was signed in July 2015 by Iran and five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany -- establishing controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb.

The EU's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Iran's compliance with the accord had been verified on at least eight separate occasions.

It is time to "invest in international cooperation" and "open new channels and not destroy the ones we already have," she said by video conference.

It is "certainly not the time to dismantle them".

- 'Worst deal ever' -

Faced with the growing threat from North Korea, "we cannot afford to open a new front," Mogherini added.

Trump is a fierce critic of the 2015 accord, which he has called "the worst deal ever", and he is expected to announce that he is "decertifying" Iran's compliance with it.

US officials insist this will not sink the deal itself but open the way for Congress to possibly develop new measures to punish other aspects of Iran's behaviour.

Congress requires the president to certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days. The next certification date is October 15.

Under the law, Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted by the deal.

Blix joins calls for US to stay in Iran nuclear deal
Paris (AFP) Oct 9, 2017 - A US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would be a new affront to the United Nations -- 14 years after the invasion of Iraq, former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix warned Monday.

US President Donald Trump is a fierce critic of the 2015 accord, calling it "the worst deal ever", and he is expected to announce this week that he is "decertifying" Iran's compliance with it.

"If Mr Trump cares for the authority of the United Nations then he cannot pull back unilaterally from that agreement," Blix said in Paris.

The Swedish former diplomat headed the inspection team that found no proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002-03 as the United States was poised to invade the country.

Then president George W. Bush and his government insisted that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons and was developing nuclear arms.

Blix was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe that started in Paris on Monday.

"I am a bit puzzled by Trump's lonely attitude... because the president has voiced his great disapproval" of the Iran deal in the face of "almost the unanimous international community standing in favour of it", he said.

The nuclear agreement was struck in July 2015 by Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany -- establishing controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano, speaking in Rome on Monday, affirmed Iran's commitment to the nuclear deal.

But Trump has said Tehran is not living up to the "spirit" of the agreement.

US officials insist "decertifying" Iran's compliance would not sink the deal itself but open the way for Congress to possibly develop new measures against Tehran.

Blix, who headed the IAEA from 1981 to 1987, led the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from 2000 until the eve of the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

NUKEWARS
With decision looming, Trump blasts Iran over nuke deal
Washington (AFP) Oct 5, 2017
US President Donald Trump on Thursday insisted Iran has not acted in keeping with a deal to curb its nuclear program, days before he must decide on the future of the accord. "They have not lived up to the spirit of the agreement," said Trump, as he huddled with military leaders ahead of perhaps the most consequential foreign policy decision of his young presidency. "The Iranian regime su ... read more

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