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Trump, May meet on Iran, N.Korea issues: White House

Trump, May meet on Iran, N.Korea issues: White House

Washington: US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have discussed issues concerning Iran and North Korea, the White House has said.

“They discussed approaches to end Iran’s destabilizing influence in Syria and Iraq. The two leaders also reviewed next steps on the Iran nuclear deal,” said the White House in a statement on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

During their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, Trump also asked the British leader to increase pressure on North Korea, said the statement.

On Tuesday, Trump talked tough on Iran and North Korea in his debut UN address, in which he signalled a possible end of the Iran nuclear deal and pressured North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

Trump said on Wednesday that he had already made a decision on the fate of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but declined to give detail.

Under the US law, the State Department is required every 90 days to recertify to Congress Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

So far, the Trump administration had recertified Iran’s compliance with the deal twice and the next deadline for recertification comes due on October 15, 2017.

According to media reports, Trump reportedly clashed with his national security team on whether he should recertify Iran’s compliance in July. Soon after the second recertification, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he “personally” would expect Iran to be declared noncompliant in October.

Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US — reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in July 2015 that put it on the path of sanctions relief but with more strict limits on its nuclear programme.

The deal set limits on Iran’s nuclear activities and allowed regular inspections of the facilities inside Iran. In return, the US and the European Union will suspend nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, with the lifting of all past UN Security Council sanction resolutions.

Trump had recently called Iran a “rogue” state, which has aroused fierce response from the Iranian government. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly that Trump’s recent anti-Iran speech was “ignorant and spiteful”.

—IANS