Netanyahu to Macron: Nuclear deal will die, need to tackle Iran´s 'aggression'

06 June, 2018, 03:32 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • PALESTINIANS INSPECT an Islamic Jihad observation post after it was targeted by an Israeli tank

"The words uttered by some European states indicate that they expect the Iranian nation to both agree to comply with the nuclear deal undertakings and live under sanctions", Khamenei added.

The European Union said Tuesday that a "first assessment" indicated that Iran's announcement that it has launched a plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity did not breach its commitments under the beleaguered 2015 nuclear deal.

Spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Behrouz Kamalvandi reportedly said that Khamenei "meant that we should accelerate some process... linked to our nuclear work capacity to move forward daster in case needed".

Earlier the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his three-day European tour is set to be dominated by strategic differences on Iran, as leaders attempt to rescue the nuclear deal after the USA withdrawal. European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear program in return for an end to punishing worldwide sanctions.

In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were rescinded in January 2016.

The US, however, withdrew from the accord last month, emboldening Israel in its efforts to try to kill the deal and rally more support for its anti-Iran campaign.

French energy giant Total is also preparing its departure from a US$4.8-billion gas project in Iran, with its CEO saying last week that the chances of a USA exemption were "very slim".

A Western official said: "If Iran does not get the financial guarantees in oil and access to the financial system, then I don't see Iran sticking to the deal because the pressure from hardliners is only increasing".

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Since US President Donald Trump's announcement of the American exit on May 8, European Union leaders have pledged to try to keep Iran's oil trade and investment flowing but admitted that will not be easy to do.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron said everyone involved should "stabilize the situation and not give into this escalation, which would lead to only one thing: conflict".

Tensions between Washington and Tehran were reignited after Trump pulled the United States out of the controversial Iran nuke deal, which he claimed would not stop the country from developing deadly warheads.

"We are here to say hello to Netanyahu and remind him and the world of the dozens of unarmed Palestinians that have been killed by the Israeli army in the last month", said 19-year-old student Antoine, waving a flag expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people.

"We are not surprised [by Iran's announcement]", he said in a video statement.

During a trip to France on Tuesday, Netanyahu warned that Tehran will soon use its uranium enrichment program to destroy Israel.

Earlier, Netanyahu said the Iranian plan to increase its nuclear enrichment capacity was aimed at producing nuclear weapons to be used against Israel, its archrival.

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