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USA arrests Iranian over alleged US$115m sanctions evasion scheme

21 March 2018

"All three, but also Russia, China, the United States and Iran, just assessed on Friday that the deal is being implemented and that we all stay committed to its full implementation", Mogherini said Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council in response to a question regarding France, the UK and Germany aim to sanction Iran.

Trump's firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week as well as his choice of Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to replace him is further indication that the USA may pull out of the Iran deal.

The proposal is allegedly part of an European Union strategy to appease US President Donald Trump and preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

In a bid to persuade the USA not to pull out of the agreement, France asked the European Union on March 19 to consider new sanctions on Iran due to its involvement in the Syrian civil war and its ballistic missile program.

In one of the most glaring splits with his outgoing top diplomat, Trump has threatened to withdraw from the nuclear accord unless Washington's negotiating partners in Europe agree to stricter enforcement terms.

Steinitz said the worldwide community should no longer tolerate issues that are not in the deal, such as Iran's aggressive takeover of countries in the region and its support for terrorism.

Asked about concerns that Trump canceling the deal would lead to Iran running to nuclearization, Steinitz said the possibility of that is low because the Iranians know such steps could lead to a conflict with the United States and harsher sanctions.

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"We are determined to ensure that the Vienna accord is respected", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters on Monday before talks with his European Union counterparts, referring to the city where the 2015 deal was signed.

"We must not exclude Iran's responsibility in the proliferation of ballistic missiles and in its very questionable role in the near- and Middle East", France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters as he arrived at a meeting with his counterparts to discuss Iran.

"Against the backdrop of European efforts to place limitations on Iran's ballistic missile program and curtail its regional influence so as to prevent the collapse of the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to emphasize its refusal to negotiate over these matters", a report by the center states.

Netanyahu also spoke over the phone with German Foreign Minister Heiku Maas and congratulated him on his new position.

They said Sadr took steps as part of the project to evade USA economic sanctions by concealing the role of Iran and Iranian parties in payments sent through the US banking system. "Today, the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) represents all three", Trump said in an unusually lengthy statement.

Iran's foreign ministry criticized Le Drian's comments, saying there could be no negotiation over what Iran says are purely defensive weapons.

USA arrests Iranian over alleged US$115m sanctions evasion scheme