The US has devised a plan to improve the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal over time with the help of Germany, France and Britain, in exchange for the US not withdrawing from the pack and renewing sanctions relief in May.Under this plan, the US would ask for fewer modifications than it did in January, but would still insist that Iran’s development of ballistic missiles is targeted, the inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities are expanded,

and the sunset clauses, which allow nuclear restrictions to expire, are removed.

These problems would not amend the existing nuclear deal, so Iran has no reason to walk away from that, but would deal with the problems in a supplemental agreement.

Richard Boucher, a former State Department spokesperson for five US secretaries of state, said: "The president, to me, was holding out a higher standard. They have to agree and negotiate and we have to get an agreement. Whereas the other one was (saying) we have to get their commitment to go down this road."

However, the European countries are still reluctant to agree, in case Donald Trump changes his mind, according to anonymous officials in Europe and the US.

An agreement must be reached by May 12 or Trump will pull the US out of the deal and reinstate sanctions on Iran, but some officials see this an impossibly short deadline even if there was bilateral agreement on the three underlying issues with the nuclear deal.

Last week, a senior US State Department official said that getting Europe to agree to amendments to the Iran deal was a two-phase process.

The Europeans first have to agree with the US on the problems that need fixing and then, helping the US to present those problems to the other signatories to the deal (Iran, Russia and China) to see if an agreement can be reached there.
From there, there are three possible ways to obtain these amendments: amending the nuclear deal, negotiating a supplemental agreement, or getting a new UN Security Council resolution.

The supplemental deal, which is most common in arms control, would ideally have the support of all seven countries, but it could work with just the US and Europe. It would reimpose all sanctions if Iran violated any of the new conditions set.

American negotiators will meet officials from Britain, France and Germany in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the amendments to the nuclear deal.

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