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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

EU wants to 'explain' Iran deal to Trump

The European Union has informally contacted the incoming Trump administration in the United States to clarify a “misunderstanding” about the Iran nuclear deal, an EU diplomatic source said Tuesday, according to the AFP news agency.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has blasted the agreement as “one of the dumbest deals I have ever seen” and vowing to “rip it up” as president.

The EU diplomatic source said the contacts were made to explain the value of the accord to the President-elect.

“Some informal outreach was done to the new US administration to explain the added value of the deal,” the source was quoted by AFP as having said.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding out there ... It is a multilateral agreement; if one side steps away from it, the others can do the same.”

The source said the EU was determined to stick with the accord and was “working very much hand in hand with China and Russia on this.”

“We see this deal as very important, as having averted a potential major crisis in a region running high with tensions,” the source added.

Iranian leaders have constantly downplayed Trump’s threats to annul the nuclear deal, insisting he cannot do so even if he wishes.

This week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araqchi, made clear his country would not renegotiate the nuclear agreement with world powers, even if it faces new sanctions from the United States after Trump becomes president.

Meanwhile, outgoing President Barack Obama on Monday hailed the accord as one of his major achievements, saying it prevented Iran from getting nuclear weapons and insisting it “makes the world safer”.