Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Israel's Netanyahu visits France's Macron to talk Iran deal

Israel's Netanyahu visits France's Macron to talk Iran deal

Iran has already told the United Nations nuclear watchdog it will boost its nuclear enrichment capacity within the limits set by the agreement with world powers.

Earlier Monday, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency renewed calls for Iran to provide "timely and proactive cooperation" in inspections that are part of the nuclear deal.

Apart from the USA and Iran, the UK, Russia, France, China and Germany had also signed the accord. So far, global inspectors say that Iran has not violated its end of the agreement, but the country is warning that it will stop abiding by the terms of the deal if the worldwide community doesn't offer an alternative.

"However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program".

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent level that would allow for rapid development of a nuclear weapon and agreed to a limit of under 5 percent.

The three European powers are scrambling to save the deal - under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme in return for a lifting of worldwide sanctions - as they regard it as the best chance to stop Tehran developing an atomic bomb.

"The leader [Khamenei] meant that we should accelerate some process ... linked to our nuclear work capacity to move forward faster in case needed", he added.

The Trump administration argues the nuclear deal doesn't address other unrelated issues such as Iran's ballistic missiles, regional influence, support for "terrorist" groups and human rights.

Ahead of his visits to Berlin, Paris, and London this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upped the pressure on his European counterparts to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal by sharing some of the top-secret files obtained by his country pertaining to an alleged secret Iranian nuclear weapons program with German, French, and British security agencies, the UK's Times newspaper reported Monday.

On the agenda will be the nuclear deal with Iran as well as how to push Iranian forces out of Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a three-day trip to Europe, where he is rallying leaders against Iran's alleged threat.

Supporters also fear the reimposition of USA sanctions could hit European firms that have done business with Iran since the accord was signed.

On Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris for talks, in a bid to convince European signatories - Britain, France and Germany - to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Mark Dubowitz, the head of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a prominent critic of the agreement, said Iran's announced plans will not rescue the agreement as more companies shun the country for fear of running afoul of renewed us sanctions.

On Sunday, Supreme Leader of Iran Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei tweeted a statement about Israel referring to them as a "malignant cancerous tumor", in what appeared to be an old quote from Iran's top leader. The Europeans have expressed unease with Iran's ballistic missiles and its efforts to manipulate the politics of the Middle East.

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