France asks why US is pressuring Europeans on Iran deal

AP , Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

Le Drian, Tillerson
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson react as they attend a foreign ministers meeting on the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, in Paris, France, January 23, 2018 (Reuters)

France's foreign minister is expressing annoyance that the Trump administration is pressuring European allies to redesign the Iranian nuclear deal to fit US needs.

Jean-Yves Le Drian was bracing for tense discussions in Paris on Tuesday with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting, Le Drian said he would underline France's firm commitment to the 2015 accord.

Le Drian questioned why the Trump administration is "kicking the ball back to Congress and the Europeans," when Russia and China also signed the deal.

Trump has threatened to abandon the deal this spring unless it is fixed to his liking, and Tillerson is in Europe this week seeking support for tough new penalties against Iran that could prevent a US withdrawal.

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