The Latest: Tillerson says US won’t walk away from Iran deal

Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes a statement at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump will not withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal or reimpose sanctions, but he will say the pact is not in U.S. national security interests.

Trump is scheduled to give a speech Friday afternoon on the nuclear accord, which he has repeatedly denounced as the worst deal in American history. The plan would allow Trump to keep up his criticism of the deal, while also reassuring U.S. allies that Washington will not walk away from it – at least not immediately.

Tillerson said Friday that Trump would urge Congress to toughen requirements for Iran to continue to get relief from U.S. sanctions. The administration wants Congress also to amend legislation to highlight troubling non-nuclear Iranian behavior not covered by the deal.

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8:40 a.m.

A European diplomat close to the Iran nuclear deal says EU foreign ministers are expected to call for the accord’s continued implementation.

The diplomat spoke shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran. The senior EU diplomat noted Friday that the Trump administration has already certified it twice, and that the International Energy Agency has done so eight times. Should Trump decertify the deal, the diplomat said the EU’s message to Iran “is very clear: you have to stick to the agreement.”

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. The diplomat said the EU believes the nuclear deal is “a very good agreement because it has a very stringent, long-term verification and monitoring mechanism.”

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8:30 a.m.

The French government reaffirms its “attachment” to the nuclear deal with Iran and insists on the importance of multilateralism to solve international issues.

French foreign affairs’ spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in a statement the deal is a “solid, robust and verifiable tool guaranteeing that Iran will not get the nuclear weapons” Romatet-Espagne said “multilateralism is the only way to create a lasting peace.” Trump is not expected to announce that the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal, but he will urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran to continue to benefit from the sanctions relief.

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7:50 a.m.

The Kremlin is warning that a U.S. move to slight the Iran nuclear deal would hurt global security.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that spiking the deal “would undoubtedly hurt the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and non-proliferation in the entire world.” Peskov spoke hours before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to deliver a speech harshly criticizing the 2015 nuclear accord.

Trump is not expected to announce that the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal, but he will urge U.S. lawmakers to codify tough new requirements for Tehran to continue to benefit from the sanctions relief. The initial agreement involved the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. Peskov said that the U.S. move against the nuclear deal would have “very negative consequences” and “seriously exacerbate the situation around the Iranian nuclear dossier.”

He added that Iran has warned that it would respond by opting out of the deal.

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