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Top European powers urge stronger Iran sanctions to strengthen nuclear deal

The United Kingdom, France and Germany are urging European Union member states to enact new sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic-missile program and involvement in Syria.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, at a meeting on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal on Sept. 22, 2016 in New York. Credit: U.N. Photo/Amanda Voisard.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, at a meeting on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal on Sept. 22, 2016 in New York. Credit: U.N. Photo/Amanda Voisard.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany are urging fellow European Union partners to back new sanctions on Iran in order to preserve the nuclear deal that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from in May.

According to reports, E.U. officials have been circulating proposals for sanctions targeting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. A total of 15 Iranian individuals and companies are targeted on a list circulated to E.U. governments. Additionally, the United Kingdom, France and Germany have proposed E.U. sanctions over Iran’s ballistic-missile program and for its role in the Syrian civil war. These sanctions would not be ones lifted under the nuclear deal.

“The idea is to have a final decision on Iran sanctions by or at the April Foreign Affairs Council,” a European diplomat told Reuters.

Trump, who has repeatedly called the Iran nuclear deal a “disaster,” has given European allies until May 12 to “fix the terrible flaws” in the deal or he will refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief on the Islamic Republic, thereby effecting ending U.S. participation in it.

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