Tehran would curb its nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions that hobbled its economy is the agreement that six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States hope to reach with Iran government.
President Donald Trump’s concerns about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal said Robert Wood the U.S. disarmament Ambassador from the conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, April 19, 2018.
U.N. nuclear inspectors have since repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal and sanctions were rescinded.
Last January president Trump sent an ultimatum to Britain, France and Germany, saying they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would refuse to extend the critical U.S. sanctions relief that it entails.
On May 12, president Trump may suspend the U.S. sanctions and if he resumes them it is unclear how fast they would go into effect. Iran has ruled out negotiating the deal.
However, according to U.S. Ambassador Wood, Washington had been having “intense” discussions with its three major European allies ahead of the May 12 deadline.
“We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached that the president can feel comfortable with,” Wood told a news conference in Geneva and continued, “We want the IAEA to get access to all the sites they need to. The Iranians obfuscate and deny, say they’ll offer access and then deny it. It’s important for the IAEA to go anywhere it needs to, including military sites.”
European officials confirm that they are making headway toward an agreement, though remain unclear whether a deal could be struck on the sunset clauses and if Trump would embrace their efforts.
Iran has said its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only and that its ballistic missiles are solely for defense and having nothing to do with its nuclear activity.
It has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties do, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.
Speaking ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Washington next week, an aide to the leader said there had been progress in talks with the United States, but Paris was being prudent as the “moment of truth” approached.
“We know that President Trump hasn’t made his decision yet so we are continuing to exchange and defend our arguments,” the aide said. “But we must be very cautious and we shouldn’t expect a breakthrough on this issue during the visit to Trump.”
Reporting by Tom Miles, Stephanie Nebehay and John Irish in Paris;