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    Iran calls on EU to take steps to save nuclear agreement

    © Belga

    Iran urged Europe on Monday to take “practical, effective and responsible” measures to salvage the Iranian nuclear agreement, under discussion at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

    Iran insists on the reciprocity of rights and duties between the parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iranian Foreign Affairs Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

    He added that it was unrealistic to expect Tehran to go back to the conditions obtained before the May 8 2019 without Europe demonstrating its political will and capacity to enable the country to benefit from the accord.

    Mousavi’s statements came in reaction to the call launched on Sunday by France, the United Kingdom and Germany, the three EU signatories to the accord, for an end to the escalation of tensions and the resumption of dialogue.

    The three States expressed concern at the risk that the agreement might unravel under the pressure of the U.S. sanctions and following Iran’s decision to stop applying many of its central provisions.

    The agreement, which crowned years of diplomatic efforts, entails restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against the country.

    It has been under threat ever since the United States unilaterally withdrew from it in May 2018 and re-imposed punitive sanctions against Iran in August 2018, thus depriving Tehran of the economic returns it had expected from the agreement.

    On 8 May 2019, tired of waiting for the other parties to the agreement to help reduce the impact of the U.S. sanctions, Iran announced that it had begun a gradual withdrawal from some of its commitments to force its partners to act to save the accord.

    As a result, by early July, Tehran’s enriched uranium levels amounted to 4.5%, exceeding a 3.67% cap imposed by the agreement.

    Other than the European troika, the parties remaining in the agreement following Washington’s withdrawal are China and Russia.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times