European powers say they are nearing plan to save Iran nuclear pact

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European powers say they are nearing plan to save Iran nuclear pact

WASHINGTON: French President Emmanuel Macron called on the United States on Wednesday not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal as Western envoys said Britain, France and Germany were nearing a package that seeks to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to save the pact.

Trump has described the 2015 accord, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, as the worst deal ever negotiated and has threatened to wreck it by reimposing U.S. penalties next month unless the three European allies agree to fix its “flaws.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States of seeking to unilaterally change the terms of the multilateral deal and derided Trump as a “tradesman” lacking the background to handle with international affairs.

Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France, which all struck the accord with Iran and the United States, see the deal as the best way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

Brian Hook, the lead U.S. negotiator with the three European nations trying to keep Trump in the deal before his self-imposed May 12 deadline, told National Public Radio in Washington that “we’re not there yet, but we’ve made some progress.” APP/AFP