Iran reportedly reneging on nuclear deal, EU threatening sanctions

On Monday, IRNA had reported that Tehran would restart part of its halted nuclear program, but stated at the time that they did not plan to pull out of the agreement.

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May 7, 2019 22:32
2 minute read.
Iran FM Zarif, EU Foreign Affairs Rep. Mogherini, and Iranian and Russian officials in Vienna 2015

Iran FM Zarif, EU Rep. for Foreign Affairs Mogherini, and Iranian and Russian officials at signing of nuclear deal in Vienna, 2015. (photo credit: LEONHARD FOEGER / REUTERS)

 
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The EU would be forced to reimpose sanctions on Iran if Tehran reneges on parts of the nuclear deal, a French presidency source said on Tuesday.

"We do not want Tehran to announce tomorrow actions that would violate the nuclear agreement, because in this case we Europeans would be obliged to reimpose sanctions as per the terms of the agreement," the source said, according to Reuters. "We don't want that and we hope that the Iranians will not make this decision."

"We sent messages to Tehran to say that we were determined to implement the agreement, that we really wanted them to stay in this agreement even though we took into account the complexity of the situation and passed on the same messages to our American allies," the source continued. "Tomorrow, depending on what is in the statement from Tehran, at this stage what we're expecting is a collective European reaction but as we do not yet know exactly what will be in it, we are preparing for different eventualities"

Soon after, Iranian state media agency IRNA reported that the Iranian Foreign Ministry would "announce its decision to diminish its commitments to the [nuclear deal] ... after the unilateral U.S. withdrawal." The report also said that President Hassan Rouhani would send a letter to the envoys of Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain, the deal's five remaining signatories.

On Monday, IRNA had reported that Tehran would restart part of its halted nuclear program, but stated at the time that they did not plan to pull out of the agreement.

"We don't want to go as far as sanctions and want Iran to respect its commitments and that's the message we passed to Tehran and Washington," said another French official on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Last week, President Donald Trump's administration said it would end waivers for countries buying Iranian oil in an attempt to reduce Iran's crude exports to zero following Washington's withdrawal from world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. The US also blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton announced on Sunday that the US is deploying a bomber task force and an aircraft carrier to send a message to Iran.

Axios reported on Monday that the move was made partially due to information that the US received from Israel concerning an alleged Iranian plot to attack American interests in the Gulf. Iranian officials have denied the existence of any threat and have claimed that the US had moved the vessels a month ago.

"If US and clients don't feel safe, it's because they're despised by the people of the region - blaming Iran won’t reverse that," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday. In the tweet, Zarif also claimed that the aircraft carrier and bomber task force were moved last month.

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