Iran says time is short for Europe to save nuclear deal: FarsEuropost
The time is short for Europe to save the international nuclear deal with Tehran after Washington’s withdrawal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, according to Fars news agency.
“It’s a crucial moment, and France can still work with other signatories of the deal and play an historic role to save the deal in this very short time,” Rouhani was quoted as saying during a meeting with France’s new ambassador in Iran.
Rouhani said the collapse of the nuclear deal would not be in the interests of the region and the world.
Iran said on Monday it would breach internationally agreed curbs on its stock of low-enriched uranium in 10 days - a move likely to strain already high tensions with Washington - but it added European nations still had time to save a landmark nuclear deal.
US-Iran tensions are worsening following accusations by the administration of US President Donald Trump that Tehran carried out attacks last Thursday on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran has denied having any role.
“We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on state TV. “There is still time ... if European countries act.”
“Iran’s reserves are every day increasing at a more rapid rate. And if it is important for them (Europe) to safeguard the accord, they should make their best efforts... As soon as they carry out their commitments, things will naturally go back to their original state.”
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani last month unveiled a step-by-step plan to begin withdrawing from parts of the deal and gave the remaining partners - China, Germany, France, Britain and Russia - until the start of July to revive the deal and ease sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sector.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated last week after two tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Britain believe Iran to be responsible. Iran denies having any role.
The two vessels, from Norway and Japan, were damaged in the incidents early Thursday. The Norwegian tanker caught fire after an explosion. The alleged attacks, at a time of heightened tensions in the region, have prompted concerns about the outbreak of a new Gulf war.