Head of US Central Command signals support for Iran nuclear deal

Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

During remarks at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said his discussions with US President Donald Trump and other officials in Washington last week focused mainly on Iran, Xinhua news agency reported.

During the meeting, the USA president allegedly said that until now, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European Union signatories to the deal, only proposed "cosmetic changes" that he did not find satisfactory, the Axios news website reported.

Trump is demanding "significant changes" to the Iran deal, not just additional agreements between the USA and the European nations, and said he would pull out of the deal if those changes aren't made, Israeli officials told Axios.

Trump has pointed to three defects in the JCPOA which he is asking European allies to help fix: the deal's failure to address Iran's ballistic missile program; the terms under which global inspectors can visit Iranian nuclear sites; and "sunset" clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years.

Israeli officials said that they believe Trump is serious in his threat to withdraw from the deal by mid- May unless these three European governments - the "E3" - demonstrate their willingness to renegotiate on these points.

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In a tacit confirmation of the report - which clearly suggests that it was meant to send a message to the other signatories and especially Iran - White House officials refused to deny it.

"Moreover, I remind you that Iran declares, on an nearly daily basis - including recently, its intention to wipe out the State of Israel". A third round is expected this Thursday in Berlin.

Israel does not partake in the talks directly but is updated on any progress regarding the negotiations.

"Everybody said after the nuclear deal that Iran coming out of the gate would be a more moderate, more peaceful country".

Netanyahu and Trump's meeting on Monday was their fifth over the past year. Please donate or subscribe to help fund independent journalism for the Iranian Diaspora.

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