Iran says the last chance for saving its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers will pass after a 60-day deadline. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters Monday that Iran won't offer any further "deadlines" to save the deal by September. The previous day, Iranian officials said the country would take further steps toward the "reduction" of its compliance with the accord after the deadline.
Iran has already breached the deal's limits on uranium enrichment and stockpiling. Mousavi said Iran is still open to negotiations with its European partners and expressed the hope they would "take steps forward" toward implementing their commitments.
Iran is pressuring European partners to find a way around US sanctions and deliver the deal's promised economic relief. The US unilaterally withdrew a year ago.
Meanwhile, Iran's defence minister vowed Monday to respond to Britain detaining an oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, local media reported. The tanker's seizure "will not be tolerated by us and will not go without a response," said Amir Hatami, as quoted by semi-official news agency ISNA and Tasnim news agency.
"This move is against international regulations and a kind of a maritime piracy," he added, speaking at a ceremony at Bandar Abbas port in southern Iran. The 330-metre (1,000-feet) Grace 1, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted Thursday by police and customs agencies in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip.
Authorities in Gibraltar said they suspected the tanker was carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Tehran denies this and claims the vessel was intercepted in international waters. Gibraltar's Supreme Court ruled Friday that the tanker can be held for 14 more days, the territory's attorney general said.
The vessel's detention came at a sensitive time in Iran-EU ties as the bloc mulls how to respond to Tehran breaching the uranium enrichment limit it agreed to in the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.