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Russia, Iran say to adhere to nuclear deal

11 January 2018

Donald Trump is being urged by some top advisers not to bring back USA economic sanctions on Iran this week, a move by the president that would effectively end a 2015 deal to limit Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

European powers will reaffirm on Thursday their support for the Iran nuclear deal that Donald Trump has rejected, EU diplomats said, on the eve of a deadline for the United States president to decide whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the agreement.

Iran signed the accord in 2015 with six world powers, agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of many global sanctions.

Under the deal, Iran agrees to halt its nuclear weapon programme in exchange for economic aid and lifting of global sanctions.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the deal is "a crucial agreement that makes the world safer".

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Any U.S. disruption to the deal could shake oil markets, according to a report by Citigroup's global commodities team published Tuesday.

"The United States must understand the unity of the global community over the nuclear deal and change their position as a result", Zarif said, urging world powers to "resist the hostile actions" of the Trump administration.

Asked if there is a threat to the deal due to US President Donald Trump's opposition, Gabriel replied: "We are convinced that the JCPOA has to be preserved".

Iran has ratcheted up threats to end cooperation on curbing its suspect nuclear programs if the administration refuses to waive the sanctions, a move that would effectively pull Washington out of the multilateral deal that Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation all agreed to with Tehran. "It is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance", Mogherini said after the talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Two senior administration official told Reuters on Wednesday that Trump's top advisers were recommending that he not reimpose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the agreement between Iran, the United States and other world powers.

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In October, he refused to certify Iran was complying with the deal but stopped short of withdrawing from it, instead passing the issue of reimposing the sanctions to Congress. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full US compliance", he wrote.

He is also scheduled to visit Brussels and hold talks with his French, British and German counterparts on the nuclear deal on Thursday.

"You either waive the sanctions or you don't and if you don't you're in breach of the JCPOA", the official said.

Before the deal, Iran was said to be mere months way from having enough material to produce a nuclear weapon.

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Russia, Iran say to adhere to nuclear deal