Report: US refusing to bend on demands for limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons

Report: US refusing to bend on demands for limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits with President Donald Trump in Jerusalem in May 2017. Trump has set May 12 as the deadline to reach an agreement on a new Iran nuclear deal. (Kobi Gideon/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States will not compromise with European powers while negotiating the terms and limitations of Iran’s nuclear program.

Axios reported: “The officials say Trump told Netanyahu that until now the three European powers only proposed ‘cosmetic changes’ that he doesn’t find satisfactory. Trump said he demands ‘significant changes’ in the Iran deal itself and not simply the addition of a supplemental agreement.”

The Israeli sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity surrounding the matter, according to Axios. White House and Israeli officials did not deny the details but declined to comment, according to the report.

When is the agreement deadline?

Trump has set May 12 as the deadline to reach an agreement with France, Germany and the United Kingdom to “fix” the nuclear deal and avoid U.S. withdrawal, Axios reported. Two rounds of talks were held in London and Paris with senior diplomats from the four countries, the report stated. Another round is expected Thursday in Berlin.

Israel is not participating but is receiving updates about the meetings.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull out of the Iran deal if his demands are not met.

What else was said?

Vice President Mike Pence echoed the same concerns this month at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting.

“President Trump has called on the Congress and our European allies to enact real and lasting restraints on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions,” Pence said. “Earlier this year, the President waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and our allies time to act. But make no mistake about it: This is their last chance. Unless the Iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the United States of America will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal immediately.”

The Iran nuclear deal was a historic agreement reached by Iran, the U.S. and other world powers in 2015, under former President Barack Obama. In part, the deal was designed to reduce Iran’s capacity to produce plutonium and uranium, which are used to make nuclear weapons.