US-Iran tensions: Europe urges Tehran to stick to troubled nuclear deal

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 10 July 2019, 07:27 AM
Tehran has said it lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries
Tehran has said it lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries

European powers urged Iran on Tuesday to reverse its move to increase uranium enrichment, as a French envoy arrived in Tehran. Iran on Monday breached a uranium enrichment cap set by a 2015 nuclear deal that the Trump administration abandoned last year. Tehran has said it lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries more than a year after Trump pulled out of the agreement.

European Union and foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain in a statement said “It must act accordingly by reversing these activities and returning to full JCPoA compliance without delay.”

On Saturday, Macron in an attempt to calm tension in the region said, he is trying to resume dialogue between Iran and Western partners by July 15. Macron’s office said in a statement that the French leader spoke for more than an hour Saturday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani amid a standoff between Tehran and the US.

Macron expressed "strong concern about new weakening" of the 2015 accord aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He said he would “explore between now and July 15 resumed dialogue among all parties.”

Trump warned Iran on Sunday over its imminent breach of a uranium enrichment cap. “Iran better be careful, because you enrich for one reason, and I won’t tell you what that reason is. But it’s no good. They better be careful,” Trump told reporters. 

The 2015 deal had been described as a triumph of diplomacy against unilateralism and a major step to counter proliferation.

But after the US withdrew in May 2018 and reimposed stinging sanctions on Iran, especially on its banking and oil sectors, the future of the accord became uncertain.

As the Iranian economy went into free fall, Tehran demanded that the other parties to the deal, especially France, Germany and Britain, deliver the promised economic benefits and help it bypass US sanctions.

However, it gradually became clear that this was no simple task, and Iran—whose economy is heavily dependant on oil sales—changed tack and said it would reshape its policy of “strategic patience”.

First Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 07:27 AM
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