0500 GMT January 20, 2018
“We must stand firm in our support for the … deal,” she told reporters in the Jordanian capital Amman on Thursday on the last leg of her Middle East tour that had already taken her to Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Daily Times reported.
“This deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes,” May added in a clear reference to Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries, which is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear deal in July 2015 and started implementing it in January 2016. Under the deal, Iran undertook to apply certain limits to its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.
IAEA reports have so far confirmed Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.
In October, however, US President Donald Trump refused to formally certify that the Islamic Republic was complying with the JCPOA, warning that he might ultimately “terminate” it.
EU concerned over future of deal
Like Moscow, Brussels is concerned over the fate of the Iranian nuclear deal, Russia’s envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told a roundtable in the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) devoted to Russian-EU ties, TASS reported.
"There are international issues on which our cooperation cannot be halted," the diplomat stressed. "For example, the Iranian nuclear deal. The EU, like Russia, is alarmed by Washington’s attempts to ditch it and voices concerns over the fate of this deal, he said.
Europeans descend on DC
Some of the US's closest allies, the UK, Germany and France, who have been growing increasingly frustrated after months of lobbying to keep the deal intact, have formed a united front, CNN reported.
Without being invited, they've organized a joint team to travel to Washington this week, setting up their own meetings to ramp up the pressure on the US, according to a senior diplomatic source from one of the participating countries.
The team of senior European diplomats will meet with members of Congress, the State Department and possibly at the White House, the source said.
The visit continues an extended pressure campaign by key European nations, which has included visits from senior figures, including the EU foreign policy chief and UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, to protect the Iran deal in the face of hostility from Trump.