France urges European Union to impose sanctions on Iran over Syria role

Cheryl Sanders
Марта 20, 2018

Britain, France and Germany have proposed new European Union sanctions on Iran over its missile program and its regional role, a confidential document said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Iran consented to restraints for its atomic program in trade for lifting some sanctions as a component of the bargain.

Iran insists its ballistic missile development programme should in no way be related to the JCPOA as it is not seeking to develop missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload. "That must also be discussed to reach a common position".

However, Reuters noted that the obtained document expresses concern at "transfers of Iranian missiles and missile technology" to Syria and allies of Tehran, such as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon's Iran-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah.

Any EU-wide measures would be the first significant punitive steps since the bloc lifted broad economic sanctions on Iran previous year following the 2015 accord to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions for at least a decade.

By making sure the new sanctions don't directly contradict the terms of the JCPOA, EU countries are hoping to preserve the nuclear deal and their ties to Iran. Some of them are keen to rebuild a business relationship that once made the EU Iran's top trading partner and its second-biggest oil customer.

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Trump declined in October to certify that the accord Iran reached in 2015 with the USA and five other world powers was in the interests of the US and later announced he would scrap it and reimpose sanctions unless European allies align with Washington "in fixing significant flaws in the deal". European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said March 19 that there was no formal European Union proposal in place for such sanctions, but she stopped short of denying that discussions over such a proposal were occurring.

The parties reportedly worked out a proposal last week that would not cancel the nuclear accords, nor reopen it to negotiations, yet would significantly increase the pressure on Iran.

In this Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump makes a statement on Iran policy in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington.

Trump has in effect given them a deadline of May 12, the next time he's due to decide whether to waive sanctions.

"Right now it doesn't feel like it's going to be extended", Corker said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" program.

Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who leads the Foreign Relations Committee, said this week that he believed Trump would pull the US out of the agreement.

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