Iran's Zarif to meet European Union foreign chief in Brussels

Iran's Zarif to meet European Union foreign chief in Brussels

In a statement issued Monday night, Catherine Ray announced that European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will host an advisory meeting with Iranian Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his three German, French and British counterparts on Thursday, January 11.

"The meeting will take place in the context of the ongoing work to ensure a full and continued implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", said a statement from Mogherini's office.

Iran signed the accord in 2015 with six world powers, agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of many global sanctions.

The next deadline for Trump to waive sanctions falls on Friday.

Cotton told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he believes the US should implement additional sanctions in response to the Iranian government's violent crackdown on nationwide protests against the regime. He will make the decision as Iran's government deals with protests over economic hardships and corruption. "The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime's malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses".

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But with the latest US certification deadline looming in mid-month, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi on January 8 said "the worldwide community must be prepared for the USA possibly pulling out" of the agreement.

The US slapped five Iranian companies with sanctions over their involvement in the country's ballistic missile program.

A withdrawal by the USA will lead to an "appropriate and heavy response", added foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

"In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the USA should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, which remains vital to US national security", said the letter.

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