- European leaders will meet on Friday afternoon to hold discussions over how to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, in defiance of Trump’s calls to abandon the 2015 agreement.
- Trump, who in 2018 withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, said the “time has come” for other signatories to do the same, calling the agreement “foolish” in a phone call to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
- But European allies have brushed away Trump’s calls to abandon the deal, including Britain and France.
- The Iran crisis took another complicated turn on Thursday when the UK and Canada both said the Iranians could be responsible for the downing of a commercial plane which was carrying 64 Canadian nationals and four Britons.
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European leaders will hold emergency talks on Friday and explore possible measures to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, a move which comes just a day after President Trump urged his allies to “break away” from the 2015 agreement.
EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels Friday afternoon and discuss the Middle East crisis and whether they can salvage the fragile nuclear deal with Iran which Trump wants to destroy.
Trump, who in 2018 withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, said the “time has come” for other signatories to do the same, calling the agreement “foolish” in a phone call to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week.
The agreement is designed to halt Iran’s nuclear program, but the country said on Sunday — following the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani — that it no longer felt compelled to stick to its terms.
European allies have brushed away Trump’s calls to abandon the deal, with the EU insisting it will “spare no effort” in its attempts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
After the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran started breaching some aspects of the accord and on Sunday announced that it no longer felt compelled to stick to any limit on the number of centrifuges used in the making of enriched uranium needed for nuclear power.
France, meanwhile, has said it is still “committed” to the deal, and Boris Johnson reiterated his support in a phone call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday.
The UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is visiting Washington, took a less decisive tone than the prime minister and said the UK was “looking very hard” at its support for the arrangement as he tries to curry favour with the US administration.
Trump on Wednesday toned down his aggressive rhetoric towards Iran after having ordered the killing of Soleimani, which has sparked a major crisis in the Middle East.
Hostilities between Iran and the US and its allies escalated dramatically when President Trump ordered a drone strike on Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport in Iraq.
The crisis took another complicated turn on Thursday when the UK and Canada both said that Iran could be responsible for the downing of a commercial plane which was carrying 63 Canadian nationals and four Britons.
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Johnson said there was a “body of information” that the flight was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, which Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said “may well have been unintentional.”
It remains to be seen whether Iran will co-operate with an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash, which the UK and Canada have called for.
Trump, who appears keen to temper tensions with Iran, said he also believed the crash had not been due to a mechanical fault but said that “somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.”
Asked what he thought had happened, the president responded: “Well, I have my suspicions.”
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