UK, Germany, France fail to pass new Iran sanctions amid US withdrawal plans

London, Berlin and Paris failed to gather support from other European countries for a new set of sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program during the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on16 April. European leaders hope to convince Trump not to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by 12 May.

The proposed measures included travel bans and asset freezes targeting militias and commanders that fight on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. However, Italy and Austria led the group of countries that opposed the proposal as overall scepticism about the chances to save the Iran deal from the US exit prevailed. The measures would only address some of the concerns of US president Donald Trump, who remains hawkish on Iran. It did not address the so-called sunset clauses, which allows rolling back of some nuclear program limits after 2025, or increases in the monitoring of Iran’s compliance with the deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will visit separately Trump at the end of April to pursue him to refrain from the anticipated one-sided withdrawal from the deal. Despite the EU leaders working on a stronger joint position to address US concerns, the deal, that lifted some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, cannot be breached unilaterally raising the stakes of another Transatlantic foreign policy rift.

About author: Petr Boháček

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