Europe rejects Iran ‘ultimatum’ on nuclear deal, urging caution
- July 5, 2020
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European powers rejected Iran’s “ultimatum” on the nuclear deal yesterday, urging the regime to stick to the terms of the 2015 agreement despite America’s withdrawal.
The European Union along with Britain, France and Germany – all signatories to the deal – released a statement pushing back on Iran’s warning it could start enriching uranium again in 60 days.
“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments”, the statement read, adding that the countries would “reject any ultimatums”.
The remarks suggested European leaders may not be willing or able to deliver the sanctions avoidance mechanism demanded by Iran that would help businesses keep trading with the country.
With their economy stuttering and America reimposing sanctions after withdrawing from the deal, Iranian leaders are under pressure to justify their continued participation.
Trump administration officials believe the nuclear deal was too narrow in scope, curbing Iran’s nuclear programme but leaving it free to pursue ballistic missile development. They favour a more comprehensive new agreement.
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Mr Trump also called for John Kerry, the former US secretary of state who helped sign the deal, to be prosecuted for continuing to talk to Iranian leaders since leaving office. Figures close to Mr Kerry dismissed the demand, saying there was no illegality.
Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, blamed Europe for not fulfilling its obligations under the terms of the original deal on Thursday.
“The US has bullied Europe-and rest of world-for a year and EU can only express ‘regret’,” Mr Zarif tweeted.
"Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, EU should uphold obligations – including normalisation of economic ties."
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