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EU, France, Germany and UK urge Iran to reverse uranium decision

photo by AP photo

L-R: The diplomatic chiefs of the EU, France, Germany and Britain, pictured in May 2019, urged Iran to reverse its decision to breach a limit on enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal.

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04th-Jul-2019       
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AFP, Brussels :
The diplomatic chiefs of the EU, France, Germany and Britain said Tuesday they were "extremely concerned" and urged Iran to reverse its decision to breach a limit on enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal.
"We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal," said the joint statement signed by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the three countries' foreign ministers-France's Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany's Heiko Maas and Britain's Jeremy Hunt.
Tehran said Monday that it had made good on its warning that it would breach the limit in response to Washington abandoning the nuclear deal last year and hitting Iran's crucial oil exports and financial transactions with biting sanctions.
Iran, which has sought to pressure the remaining parties to save the deal, announced on May 8 that it would no longer respect the limit set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles.
It threatened to abandon further nuclear commitments unless the deal's remaining partners-Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia-helped it circumvent sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
"We have been consistent and clear that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran," said the joint statement on Tuesday.
"We regret this decision by Iran, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear nonproliferation."
It added that the group was "urgently considering next steps under the terms" of the deal, which saw Iran commit to never acquiring an atomic bomb, accept drastic limits on its nuclear programme and submit to IAEA inspections in exchange for a partial lifting of international sanctions.
US President Donald Trump warned Monday that Iran is "playing with fire" after Tehran said it had exceeded the limit set on its enriched uranium stockpile.
Rouhani said it was the US that started the fire and Washington has to "put it out" by returning to the nuclear deal.
His adviser, Hesamodin Ashena, warned Trump against listening to hawks in his administration, hinting aggression against Iran could make him a "one-term president".
"We have unseated an American president in the past, we can do it again," he tweeted, referring to Jimmy Carter whose bid for a second term was marred by the Iran hostage crisis in 1980.
Israel urged European states to slap sanctions on Iran for abandoning its nuclear commitments.
Russia voiced regret but said the move was a consequence of US pressure, which has pushed the deal towards collapse. The diplomatic chiefs of Britain, France, Germany and the EU said they were "extremely concerned" and urged Iran to reverse its decision.
Europe has sought to save the nuclear deal by setting up a payment mechanism known as INSTEX which is meant to help Iran skirt the US sanctions.

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