Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Germany, France vow to stick to Iran deal without US

Reuters, BERLIN and ANKARA

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani yesterday speaks in a meeting with officials in the city of Mashhad in a photograph released on his office’s Web site.

Photo: AP / Iranian Presidency Office

Germany and France yesterday vowed to stand by the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers even if the US pulls out, with the German foreign minister saying the world would be less safe without it.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to retreat from the deal by not extending sanctions waivers when they expire on Saturday, unless European signatories of the accord fix what he calls its “flaws.”

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas said it was clear that the agreement made the world securer and there was a risk of escalation were it to be canceled.

“We don’t think there is any justifiable reason to pull out of this agreement and we continue to make the case for it to our American friends,” Maas said at a joint news conference with visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“We’ll deal with the [US] decision, but like Jean-Yves said, we want to adhere to this agreement,” Maas added.

Le Drian said France, Britain and Germany would keep to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran irrespective of the US’ decision because it is the best way to avoid nuclear proliferation.

“We are determined to save this deal, because this accord safeguards against nuclear proliferation and is the right way to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon,” Le Drian said.

France, Germany and Britain have for weeks been campaigning to keep the deal alive and have been negotiating since January with the US to find ways to convince Trump to keep to the accord.

Maas said “good proposals” had been made in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US would regret any decision to leave the deal and Tehran would fiercely resist US pressure to limit its influence in the Middle East.

“If they want to make sure that we are not after a nuclear bomb, we have said repeatedly that we are not and we will not be,” Rouhani, who engineered the accord to ease Iran’s isolation, said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

“But if they want to weaken Iran and limit its influence whether in the region or globally, Iran will fiercely resist,” he said.

The nation had been preparing for every possible scenario, including a deal without the US or no deal at al, he said.

Any annulment of the accord could tip the balance of power in favor of hardliners looking to constrain Rouhani’s ability to open up to the West.

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