The European Union failed to agree new sanctions against Iran on Monday amid Italy’s opposition and fears that punishing Tehran for its missile program and regional role would not stop U.S. President Donald Trump from abandoning a separate nuclear deal.
Seeking to respond to Trump’s criticism of the nuclear accord and Tehran more broadly, France, Britain and Germany proposed directing sanctions at Iranian “militias and commanders” fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
They hoped holding Iran accountable for this could help convince Trump not to walk away from the nuclear agreement. But they ran into opposition by Italy, backed by Austria.
Speaking on the sidelines of EU foreign ministers’ discussions in Luxembourg, some diplomats said the outcome meant the EU might not make the U.S. President’s May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord.