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EU’s Mogherini in Washington ‘early November’ to defend Iran deal

European foreign ministers also warn that Trump’s rhetoric on nuclear accord undermines any dialog with North Korea

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini gives a press conference following an EU Foreign Affairs meeting in Luxembourg on October 16, 2017.  (AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS)
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini gives a press conference following an EU Foreign Affairs meeting in Luxembourg on October 16, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS)

LUXEMBOURG — The EU’s chief diplomat Federica Mogherini announced Monday she will visit Washington early next month to defend the Iran nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump threatened to tear it up.

Mogherini said she would “be in Washington in early November” to urge US lawmakers not to pull out of the landmark 2015 deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of punitive sanctions.

EU foreign ministers on Monday warned that the hardline stance on Tehran that Trump outlined in a belligerent speech on Friday undermined any chance of dialogue with North Korea over its nuclear weapons.

“Clearly the ministers are concerned about the fact that messages on the JCPOA (the Iran deal) might affect negatively the possibility of opening negotiations or opening even the space for negotiations with the DPRK,” Mogherini told reporters after the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers held talks in Luxembourg.

The leaders of France, Britain and Germany gave a rebuke Trump in a joint statement which said the deal remained “in our shared national security interest.”

Russia and China also voiced their support for the agreement.

UN inspectors have repeatedly certified that Iran is sticking to its technical requirements under the accord, but Trump has insisted that the “fanatical regime” in Tehran was not living up to the “spirit” of the deal.

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