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Montevideo, July 19th 2018 - 04:18 UTC

European signatories reaffirm support for Iran deal, despite Trump saying Teheran is lying

Tuesday, May 1st 2018 - 10:29 UTC
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UK, France and Germany - reaffirmed their backing for the deal, as US president Donald Trump continues to threatens to walk away from the agreement. UK, France and Germany - reaffirmed their backing for the deal, as US president Donald Trump continues to threatens to walk away from the agreement.

The UK has backed a “vitally important” nuclear deal with Iran, despite accusations from the US and Israel that Iranians are pursuing atomic weapons. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims thousands of “secret nuclear files” proved Iran covertly sought nuclear weapons - an accusation Iran rejects.

His stance has been backed by the US, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Tehran had lied.

But the UK government said inspectors ensured the deal was adhered to. Six nations signed an accord in 2015 lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for it abandoning a nuclear weapons program.

The three European signatories - the UK, France and Germany - reaffirmed their backing for the deal, as US president Donald Trump continues to threatens to walk away from the agreement.

The deal is also signed by Russia and China.

A UK government spokesman said inspectors appointed as part of the accord are providing a “vitally important way of independently verifying that Iran is adhering to the deal”.

The spokesman added: “We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions.”

On Monday, Mr Netanyahu said thousands of pages of material obtained by Israel showed Iran had deceived the world by denying it had ever sought nuclear weapons.

Stood in front of a screen reading “Iran Lied”, he accused Iran of conducting a secret weapons program until 2003 codenamed “Project Amad”. He then claimed the country had continued to pursue nuclear weapons knowledge after Project Amad was shuttered.

Iran responded that Israel's revelations were a “childish” stunt to influence President Trump's decision on whether to remain in the nuclear deal, which he is due to make by 12 May.

Mr Trump has asked the European signatories to the agreement to “fix the terrible flaws” with it or he will refuse to extend sanctions relief on Iran.

In a statement, the White House said Israel's information provided “new and compelling details” about Iran's alleged efforts to develop “missile-deliverable nuclear weapons”.

The US statement said: “These facts are consistent with what the US has long known - Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.”

US Secretary of State Pompeo said the top secret documents Israel claims to have obtained show Tehran “was not telling the truth” about its nuclear program.

According to Iranian state TV, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, said he hoped Mr Trump “comes to his senses and stays in the deal”.

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