European Union must consider Iran's missiles, regional role: France's Le Drian

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All the major power signatories to the nuclear deal except the USA are happy that Iran has complied with its provisions since it took effect at the start of 2016 but with Trump insisting that the JCPOA is so inadequate that it is "an embarrassment to Amercia", London, Berlin and Paris have been forced to look hard at moves that could be made to persuade the U.S. president to tolerate the retention of the accord. He said Saudi threats to start a nuclear program proved his warning that the deal would enhance instead of limiting proliferation. But German leadership has been less vocal on the issue, which has played well in Iran. He said those issues must be expressed in worldwide decisions and lead to more pressure on Iran.

In a bid to persuade Washington to remain in the nuclear accord, France urged the European Union on Monday to consider new sanctions on Iranover its involvement in Syria's civil war and its ballistic missile program.

The Trump administration has sought to crack down on Iran over its ballistic missile program and support for groups like Hezbollah.

Britain, France and Germany have proposed new European Union sanctions on Iran over its missile program and its regional role, a confidential document said on Friday, Reuters reported.

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A European diplomat involved in the discussions told Israel's Channel 10 that despite Trump's threats to walk away from the Iran deal on May 12, when it is up for renewal, the gaps between the USA and other signatories who want to safeguard the accord are actually narrowing.

Trump and Bin Salman, known commonly by his initials MBS, met to discuss financial ties, a joint effort in combating terrorism, and regional concerns in the Middle East. Trump congratulated MBS for his nation's efforts to limit terrorism financing and celebrated the signing of major trade deals between the two countries. But with time still to run until May, sanctions did not dominate the debate, diplomats said.

Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has adopted a tough stance against Iran and repeatedly denounced a landmark deal that Tehran reached with world powers to curb its nuclear programme.

"We were hopeful that after his recent visit to Tehran and negotiations with Iranian officials, he would understand the realities of the Islamic Republic's defense policies", Fars news agency quoted Iranian spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

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