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12 January 2018, 01:39 | Darnell Patrick
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehra
European Union ministers presented a united stance Thursday in Brussels in support of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warning that dismantling it could embolden North Korea's nuclear aspirations.
Europe and Iran put on a united front over the 2015 accord on freezing the country's nuclear programme on Thursday, warning the U.S. against a decision to supper the deal.
The meeting comes one day before a US deadline requiring President Donald Trump to once again decide whether the USA will continue backing the deal.
"I don't think anybody has so far produced a better alternative" to the nuclear deal, the U.K.'s Johnson said, asking those "who oppose" the agreement "to come up with that better solution, because we haven't seen it so far".
The 2015 agreement was brokered by the Obama administration - along with the UK, Russia, France, Germany and China - obliging Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the suspension of sanctions that had for years crippled its economy.
While EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini wants to keep the nuclear issue separate from other contentious issues with Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will also face tough questions about recent anti-government protests which left 21 people dead.
Some analysts have argued that a full Trump administration withdrawal from the deal could be disastrous for USA relations with European allies, who've sought more eagerly than Washington to invest in Iran over the past two years. "The Irannuclear deal makes the world safer".
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In reaction to US President Donald Trump's likely decision on the JCPOA in the coming days, he said that one of Trump's policies is his unpredictability.
The US president has repeatedly referred to the JCPOA as "the worst deal ever" and accused Iran of violating it, despite assurances from worldwide observers that the country is complying.
The Iranian nuclear deal "is working", Mogherini said.
Mr. Trump faces a January 12 deadline to extend waivers of broad oil and energy sector sanctions that were critical in getting Iran's commitment to the Obama-era accord. JCPOA is the official name for the deal.
European powers have urged the USA not to abandon the 2015 agreement with Iran that limits its nuclear programme, saying it is making the world safer.
Critics of the deal in Congress have also proposed amending legislation to ensure that USA sanctions would "snap back" automatically if Iran carried out certain actions.
While Mr. Trump already moved in October to "decertify" the accord, The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the president is expected to extend the sanctions waivers, citing progress in bilateral efforts in Congress to push through legislation governing Washington's participation in the deal.
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