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EU to meet Iran to back nuclear deal in message to Trump

From Reuters - January 10, 2018

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) - 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 U.S. president to decide whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the agreement.

At a meeting with Iran, Britain, France, and Germany, convened by the EUs top diplomat Federica Mogherini, the European powers that helped negotiate the 2015 accord will reassure Tehran they remain committed to it.

They will also urge Iran to continue to comply with international inspectors, the diplomats said. Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear arms.

The aim is to send a message to Washington that Iran is complying and that it is better to have the nuclear agreement than to isolate Tehran, one diplomat said.

A second diplomat said: The date of the meeting is not a coincidence ... Its a campaign that we have carried on since October, referring to Trumps decision not to certify that Tehran is meeting the terms of a pact to stop it developing nuclear weapons.

A spokesman for Irans atomic energy agency said on Wednesday that a reimposition of sanctions by the United States would be a violation of the nuclear deal and added that the Islamic Republic had the capacity to greatly increase its enrichment of uranium.

The foreign ministers of Britain, Germany, France as well as Irans Mohammad Javad Zarif, are expected to meet on Thursday morning with Mogherini, the EUs foreign policy chief.

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