U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretaryآ James Mattis, holds a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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A day before Donald Trump's Jan. 12 ultimatum to "fix" the Iran nuclear deal, European powers met Iran's foreign minister to show support for it, but the effort failed to soften Trump's aversion to the accord, U.S. and European officials said.Trump instead gave the European allies, Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S. Congress 120 days to come up with a tougher approach on Tehran or see U.S. sanctions reimposed, they said.Under U.S. law, Trump must decide again whether to renew the U.S. sanctions relief every 120 days, giving Congress, as well as U.S. and European diplomats, until mid-May to see if there is a way to finesse the issue.Initial contacts between the three European powers in Washington, European capitals and at the EU's headquarters in Brussels suggest that Paris, London and Berlin will present a package of measures to the United States to allay Trump's concerns about Iran but that do not reopen the nuclear accord.That could dovetail with U.S. legislative efforts to change the nuclear deal's so-called sunset provisions as they expire from 2025, so that if Iran were eventually to launch a nuclear arms program, U.S. sanctions would kick in again.
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