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EU leaders to recommit to Iran nuclear deal whatever Trump decides

EU leaders to recommit to Iran nuclear deal whatever Trump decides
From Reuters - October 19, 2017

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will on Thursday reaffirm their full commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, regardless of whether an increasingly critical United States pulls out.

But the bloc, reluctant to isolate itself completely from Washington, is also looking at whether it should as a next move step up criticism of Irans ballistic missile program and its role in what the West sees as fomenting instability in the Middle East, a senior EU official said.

President Donald Trump last week adopted a harsh new approach to Iran by refusing to certify its compliance with the nuclear deal, struck with the United States and five other powers including Britain, France and Germany after more than a decade of diplomacy.

EU leaders will reaffirms (their) full commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, after talks in Brussels on Thursday, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.

The EU has been stepping up efforts to save the deal, saying it was crucial to regional and global security, and has appealed to the U.S. Congress not to let it fall.

Trump has given Congress 60 days to see whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, lifted under the pact in exchange for the scaling down of a program the West fears was aimed at building a nuclear bomb, something Tehran denies.

Should Trump walk away from the deal, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran would shred it.

The bloc sees the agreement as a chief international success of recent years, and fears tearing it apart would hurt its credibility as well as harming diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions around another nuclear stand-off, with North Korea.

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