United States threatens sanctions as other members of Iran nuclear accord stiffen resolve

United States threatens sanctions as other members of Iran nuclear accord stiffen resolve

US President Donald Trump on 8 May announced that the United States was withdrawing from a 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

"I think that it was a mistake to rip up the agreement, and we should've built on the agreement rather than stepping backwards", Paul said.

As a result of the new USA sanctions, companies worldwide must stop doing business with Iran or risk US fines or other punishment.

Among things the European Union could consider, he said, are reinforcing a 1996 "blocking statute" that could allow companies to ignore sanctions. "It depends on the conduct of other governments".

Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA has come at a particularly sensitive moment for worldwide relations. Trump's declaration Monday only requires American banks and companies to stop trading with Iran within 180 days, but the USA may also apply so-called "secondary sanctions" against foreign companies that trade with Iran.

The other countries involved in the deal remain in the accord despite Trump's decision.

Under the agreement, Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons.

Khamenei said on Wednesday Iran does not trust France, Germany and the United Kingdom to provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to remain in the agreement.

The Iranian Foreign Minister is expected today in Brussels, the final stage of a diplomatic tour promoted in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to end the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) signed in 2015.

Those comments were echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who told parliament that regime change in Iran was not a policy Britain should pursue.

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It follows a visit by the Iranian diplomat to Beijing on Sunday where he stressed the importance of keeping the accords, which were signed in 2015 with the aim of both halting Tehran's nuclear ambitions and stimulating the country's economy.

"I'm hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behaviour, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behaviour as well", he said.

"Let's not fool ourselves that there are dozens of things we can do", said a second senior European diplomat.

France's foreign minister had said on Friday he had asked for exemptions or longer grace periods for the exit of French companies such as oil-and-gas giant Total SA and auto maker Peugeot SA that have returned to the Iranian market since the 2015 nuclear accord.

Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin would try to "persuade the U.S. government to change its behavior".

Germany - along with France and Britain - has said it remains committed to the nuclear deal.

Trump's action has been met with dismay among America's allies in Europe and Asia and with scathing criticism and opprobrium in the USA political circles and the liberal press.

"Yesterday, we witnessed a very risky behavior from the side of the same regime towards Jerusalem", he said while commenting on the expected relocation of the USA embassy.

It also demanded that Iran cease supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels, who have been at war with Tehran's archenemy Saudi Arabia, end cyberattacks against the USA and its allies, stop menacing US military ships in the Persian Gulf and abandon its rhetoric about destroying Israel.

As for the assurances, Mogherini said, "I cannot talk about legal or economic guarantees but I can talk about serious, determined, immediate work from the European side".

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