Iran rolls back part of nuclear pact, France issues warning

Iran rolls back part of nuclear pact, France issues warning

The new sanctions come on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Trump's announcement that he was withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal, which he has called the "worst deal ever".

But on Wednesday, the White House announced it would impose new sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors, starving the country of even more sorely needed export revenue and further ratcheting up political pressure on the regime.

A year after the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would halt a program to sell excess enriched uranium and heavy water to other countries, an arrangement used under the nuclear deal to keep its own stockpiles below permitted caps.

Iran announced on Wednesday that it was reducing curbs to its nuclear program, just short of violating the terms of the 2015 accord with world powers.

The 2015 deal, meant to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, promised economic incentives in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities.

For Europe, Iran's move presents a dilemma.

It is unclear what steps Iran will take, but it says it does not intend to completely withdraw from the pact. "We regret that the USA has further aggravated the tension on the Iranian nuclear issue", Geng said.

"If Iran keeps to its commitments, we will keep to ours", said the United Kingdom foreign secretary.

Beijing echoed the Russian stance, pointing out that usa actions against Iran had "further aggravated" the tensions around the nuclear accord.

In response to these developments, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would "not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons".

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Iran hoped that Beijing at least would defy the U.S. and continue to buy its oil when the United States ended sanctions exemptions for the last handful of Iran's remaining customers on 2 May.

Iran's announcement came as Washington stepped up its rhetoric against Tehran, accusing it of planning "imminent" attacks and deploying an aircraft carrier strike group with several nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region.

Russian Federation responded by blaming the United States for provoking Iran into rolling back the terms of the nuclear deal.

Iran's hard-line Javan newspaper, associated with the Revolutionary Guard, said Wednesday would "ignite the matchstick for burning the deal".

Washington recently said it will stop waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, in an attempt to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero.

"This will be communicated to the ambassadors of the five countries" still party to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - at a meeting on Wednesday with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi, IRNA reported.

China called on parties to uphold the deal, saying "maintaining and implementing the comprehensive agreement is the shared responsibility of all parties". The powers have remained in a precarious state of agreement with Iran during the past year regarding the terms of the deal and the economic benefits it allowed, while the Trump administration takes an increasingly hard line - one that has become more pronounced in recent days.

Although accelerating work on Instex would not do much for Iran's economy in real terms, it would be a sign of political will to defy Trump and uphold the deal.

Rouhani's announcement came just days after USA national security adviser John Bolton used the routine deployment of an American aircraft carrier and bomber task force to threaten Iran with "unrelenting force"-a move critics denounced as a unsafe step in the direction of all-out war".

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