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UK, France, Germany propose new sanctions on Iran in an attempt to save nuclear deal

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands in January 2015 with Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva. The United Kingdom, Germany, and France have sent a joint proposal to the members of the European Union to slap fresh sanctions on Iran in an attempt to save the Iran nuclear deal. (2015 file photo/Rick Wilking/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Kingdom, Germany, and France have sent a joint proposal to the members of the European Union to slap fresh sanctions on Iran. These sanctions are reportedly an attempt to convince President Donald Trump that there are ways to keep Iran in check without scrapping the 2015 nuclear deal. The U.K., Germany and France joined the United States, Russia and China, in signing the nuclear deal with Iran.

The sanctions would be in response to Iran’s involvement in Syria and it’s development of ballistic missiles.

The proposal was sent to the capitals of member nations on Friday. In order for the sanctions to take effect, all 28 members of the European Union would have to sign onto it.

The document, which has been seen by Reuters, said that the three author countries were engaged in “intensive” talks with the White House in order to “achieve a clear and lasting reaffirmation of U.S. support for the [nuclear] agreement beyond May 12.”

Reuters cited diplomats who said that representatives from these European countries held “several rounds of talks this week on the issue” with the United States.

It also explained that the sanctions would “target militias and commanders” and build on existing EU sanctions. Names of specific “persons and entities” to be targeted by the sanctions would be listed in a follow-up document to be released “in the coming days.” The EU currently still has some sanctions in place on Iran as punishment for human rights abuses.

President Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, which he has referred to as “the worst deal ever.” The deal, which was signed removed economic sanctions on Iran, and attempted to curb Iran’s ability to produce plutonium and uranium.

The deal was controversial in the United States when it was signed. Twenty-five Democratic members of the House of Representatives broke with the Obama White House to vote against a resolution to approve it. Iran agreed to the terms of the deal but has continued to develop its ballistic missile program, which it says that it needs for defense.

Iran has also lent some support to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In a speech at the Holocaust Museum yesterday, national security adviser H.R. McMaster called out Syria for its part in this now more than seven-year conflict, saying “it is time to impose serious political and economic consequences on Moscow and Tehran.”

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