Monday, 24 February, 2020

Pence says Trump to ask European allies to scrap Iran deal

President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops Wednesday Jan. 8 2020 in Washington as Vice President Mike Pence and others looks on. (Eva EU Council chief defends Iran deal after Trump call to quit it
Deanna Wagner | 12 January, 2020, 17:34

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal remained "the best arrangement now available".

It seems increasingly unlikely that this will be possible if the tensions between the The US and Iran escalate to open hostilities.

Iran has been gradually discarding the deal's limitations on its enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the accord in 2018, demanding tougher curbs on Iran.

But the regime fears massive reprisals from the United States if they hit back too hard and this week's missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq caused no casualties.

"That's why I had the occasion this morning to have a long discussion with president Rouhani to see how it is possible for the European Union to play a stronger role in the region", Michel said.

Downing Street said the phone call lasted around 20 minutes.

But French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned before the afternoon meeting that Iran could have a nuclear weapon in one to two years if the country fully breaks with a nuclear containment accord it reached with world powers in 2015.

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Tehran responded earlier this week with missile strikes at USA bases and announced it would no longer respect limits set under the 2015 nuclear deal on how many centrifuges it can use to enrich uranium, fuelling fears Iran could quickly start building a nuclear arsenal.

He added Gen Soleimani, who was killed by a USA drone strike on 3 January, "had the blood of British troops on his hands", because he had "supplied improvised explosive devices to terrorists".

"Of course it also needs the government in Iran to be willing and committed to that outcome as well", he added. We will see if Iran wants to negotiate.

The foreign secretary said the United Kingdom government was "looking very hard at what should happen next" after Iran declared earlier this week that it would abandon all limits on its enrichment of uranium.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak with senior White House advisors during a meeting about an Iran missile attack on U.S. military facilities in Iraq, in the Situation Room of the White House, Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020. On Monday, Iran announced that it was ending its commitment to limit enrichment of uranium as part of the nuclear deal, though it hasn't officially withdrawn from it.

In 2018, the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal reached under the Obama administration between Iran and world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program. At the same time, he said that Tehran is getting hurt very badly by American sanctions.

Europe's leaders hope to lead the United States and Iran away from the confrontation, knowing that a miscalculation on both sides could result in a devastating war and a serious nuclear proliferation crisis.