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Iran Gives European Countries Two More Months to Save 2015 Nuclear Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said talks with European powers were moving forward, raising hopes of at least a pause in a diplomatic confrontation between Iran and the West that has stoked already heightened tensions across the region.

Reuters

Updated:September 4, 2019, 10:20 PM IST
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Iran Gives European Countries Two More Months to Save 2015 Nuclear Deal
File photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
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Dubai: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani gave European powers another two months to save a 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday, but warned that Tehran was still preparing for further significant breaches of the agreement if diplomatic efforts failed.

His statement came as Iranian officials appeared to give a guarded welcome to a French proposal to save the atomic pact by offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until the end of the year if Tehran comes fully back into compliance.

Rouhani said talks with European powers were moving forward, raising hopes of at least a pause in a diplomatic confrontation between Iran and the West that has stoked already heightened tensions across the region.

Iran emerged from years of economic isolation after agreeing a deal with world powers in 2015 to curb its nuclear development programme in exchange for sanctions relief. However, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year, arguing it did not go far enough, and reimposed sanctions.

Tehran responded with two separate moves that breached some of the terms of the deal, although it says it still aims to save the pact. Rouhani had threatened to take further measures by Sept. 5 unless France and the other European signatories of the pact did more to protect Iran from the impact of the US penalties.

"I think it is unlikely that we will reach a result with Europe by today or tomorrow ... Europe will have another two months to fulfil its commitments," Rouhani said, according to state TV.

"The talks between Iran and European countries are moving forward ... but we have yet to reach a conclusion," he added.

Iran would continue with plans to breach the pact further and accelerate its nuclear activity, Rouhani said, without giving a fresh deadline. "The third step (in reducing Iran's commitments) will be the most important one and it will have extraordinary effects," state TV reported him as saying.

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