US President Donald Trump is expected to extend sanctions relief for Iran this week as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, amid widespread speculation about whether he would kick-start a process that would see the accord unravel.
"If the sanctions suspension are not extended, that would violate the nuclear deal and the Islamic Republic of Iran will take first retaliatory action immediately", the Iranian nuclear spokesman said.
Iran has said that if the United States walks away from the agreement, it is ready to give an "appropriate and heavy response". The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has spoken of supplementing the nuclear deal.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU3-Iran meeting at EEAS headquarters in Brussels on Thursday Jan. 11, 2018.
After talks in Moscow on Wednesday Zarif tweeted a warning.
"It would send a very risky signal to the rest of the world if the only agreement which prevents the proliferation of nuclear weapons would be negative effect".
A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been working on legislation to keep the nuclear deal in place but tighten restrictions on Iran by amending the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, or Inara.
According to a statement of the EU's external service, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini "will convene a meeting with Ministers of Foreign Affairs of E3 countries - France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, and the UK Boris Johnson - and Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif on Thursday 11 January in Brussels".More news: Local store Manager wins €250k New Year ticket
UANi disappointed, calling on the European Union and USA to find a solution.
Such a balance may satisfy Trump's demand to raise pressure on Iran, while not embarking on a frontal assault on the most central trade-offs of the 2015 accord, which the president has blasted as the "worst deal ever". We think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment.
"The US will definitely regret exiting the JCPOA, and will incur much more losses than Iran, the official warned, saying Washington would wonder what a detailed plan Iran has made", Takht-Ravanchi reportedly told Iran's state-run IRNA, according to Iran's Tasnim news agency.
Q&A Why is Trump hostile to Iran?
If Trump again withholds Iran's certification, much of the world may shrug it off.
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Earlier on Thursday, Zarif held a bilateral meeting with Le Drian.
In parallel, the same source expected separate sanctions to be announced on Iran, targeting regime individuals and those responsible for the crackdown on the protests that started on December 28. Among the protesters' grievances were complaints that the nuclear accord has failed to quickly boost the Iranian economy as promised by its key backers, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.