Tillerson says US won't walk away from Iran dealPosted: Updated:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (all times local):
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump will not withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal or reimpose sanctions, but he will say the pact is not in U.S. national security interests.
Trump is scheduled to give a speech Friday afternoon on the nuclear accord, which he has repeatedly denounced as the worst deal in American history. The plan would allow Trump to keep up his criticism of the deal, while also reassuring U.S. allies that Washington will not walk away from it - at least not immediately.
Tillerson said Friday that Trump would urge Congress to toughen requirements for Iran to continue to get relief from U.S. sanctions. The administration wants Congress also to amend legislation to highlight troubling non-nuclear Iranian behavior not covered by the deal.
A European diplomat close to the Iran nuclear deal says EU foreign ministers are expected to call for the accord's continued implementation.
The diplomat spoke shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran.
The senior EU diplomat noted Friday that the Trump administration has already certified it twice, and that the International Energy Agency has done so eight times.
Should Trump decertify the deal, the diplomat said the EU's message to Iran "is very clear: you have to stick to the agreement."
The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly.
The diplomat said the EU believes the nuclear deal is "a very good agreement because it has a very stringent, long-term verification and monitoring mechanism."
The French government reaffirms its "attachment" to the nuclear deal with Iran and insists on the importance of multilateralism to solve international issues.
French foreign affairs' spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in a statement the deal is a "solid, robust and verifiable tool guaranteeing that Iran will not get the nuclear weapons"
Romatet-Espagne said "multilateralism is the only way to create a lasting peace."
Trump is not expected to announce that the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal, but he will urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran to continue to benefit from the sanctions relief.
The Kremlin is warning that a U.S. move to slight the Iran nuclear deal would hurt global security.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that spiking the deal "would undoubtedly hurt the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world."
Peskov spoke hours before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to deliver a speech harshly criticizing the 2015 nuclear accord. Trump is not expected to announce that the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal, but he will urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran to continue to benefit from the sanctions relief.
The initial agreement involved the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Peskov said that the U.S. move against the nuclear deal would have "very negative consequences" and "seriously exacerbate the situation around the Iranian nuclear dossier." He added that Iran has warned that it would respond by opting out of the deal.
The German government says the nuclear deal with Iran is an "important instrument" to prevent the country from acquiring atomic weapons and that Berlin will continue to support full implementation.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday that "we consider this deal to be an important instrument to prevent Iran's nuclear armament. That's why we will continue to work for its full implementation."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has reached out to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson repeatedly in recent weeks, including late Thursday, to discuss the Iran deal.
A spokeswoman for Gabriel said German, French and British diplomats have also been meeting with U.S. lawmakers from both parties in Washington to press the European view of the deal's importance.
The Iranian parliament speaker says any U.S. move against a nuclear deal with Iran be an insult to the United Nations.
Ali Larijani (lehr-uh-ZHAH'-nee) spoke on a visit to Russia hours before President Donald Trump was expected to deliver a speech harshly criticizing the 2015 accord.
The agreement offered Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear program. It was painstakingly negotiated by then-President Barack Obama's administration and also involved a coalition of world powers including the Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
Larijani said the accord has received a U.N. blessing, so any move to spike it would be "an insult to the U.N." He added that any revision of the deal would allow Iran to take its own action.
President Donald Trump will say Friday the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in U.S. national security interests, but he won't withdraw from the landmark deal.
The Iran deal was negotiated over 18 months by the Obama administration. Under U.S. law, Trump faces a Sunday deadline to notify Congress whether Iran is complying with the accord.
In a speech from the White House, Trump is expected to outline faults he finds in the pact and will also focus on an array of Iran's troubling non-nuclear activities. Those include Tehran's ballistic missile program and support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.
Trump is expected to say these actions violate the spirit of the regional stability.
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