As Iran deal deadline approaches, Trump mulls next move

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"There is no indication today that could call into doubt Iranian respect of the agreement", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Brussels, after a meeting between the Europeans and their Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

"We greatly value the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment, it's a way of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and Iran is in compliance with this agreement according to the International Atomic Energy Agency", said Johnson, underlining that so far, no other alternative is on the table.

President Trump, who has called the Iran deal "a total and complete catastrophe" must decide by mid-January whether to continue waiving US sanctions on Iran's oil exports under the terms of the pact.

The moves would maintain the status quo in place since October, when Trump first declined to certify the 2015 deal, which was negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other world powers.

At the October 2017 deadline, Trump charged that Iran was not living up to the "spirit" of the agreement and asked Congress to unilaterally impose "trigger points" on the deal that would impose nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran should it overstep certain bounds.

The agreement codified limitations to Iran's nuclear energy programme in return for a lifting of global economic sanctions, including US sanctions on Iran's oil exports. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full U.S. compliance", Zarif tweeted from Moscow.

Tehran has the capability to increase its uranium-enriching capacity, the country's atomic energy agency said, noting that the government will perform the "necessary actions" if the USA re-imposes sanctions on the country's oil exports.

"We in Iran are prepared for any scenario".

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The Iran nuclear deal has been given continued support by Europe after talks in Brussels. "Now Trump has seen young Iranians on the street calling for something that at least parallels that, he may push back on the course of prudence, which would be to give the deal another three months", she added.

Trump has called the Iran deal "the worst deal ever negotiated" and repeatedly said he would like to end the United States commitment.

Another key deadline is coming up regarding the renewal of USA sanctions on Iran. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is said to be working with Senate Democrats on new legislation to hold Iran accountable for its ongoing ballistic missile construction and other rogue activities.

Officials in the Trump administration have suggested that Trump plans to extend the waivers that lifted sanctions on Iran, but could seek new measures over issues such as human rights issues and missile programs.

The former United Kingdom foreign secretary Jack Straw has suggested the European Union consider legislation to protect European Union companies from U.S. sanctions if Washington reimposes sanctions over the deal.

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Trump had vowed to rip up the agreement during his election campaign and has repeatedly referred to it as "the worst deal ever", accusing Iran of violating the "spirit" of the pact.

Iran's foreign minister says Thursday's Brussels meeting had shown a "strong consensus" that Tehran was complying with the pact.

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