Iran president renews ultimatum over nuclear pact compliance

June 15, 2019

DUSHANBE (Reuters) – Iran will continue scaling back compliance with its nuclear deal commitments unless other signatories show “positive signals”, the Iranian president told a meeting of Russian, Chinese and other Asian leaders in Tajikistan.

Iran stopped complying in May with some commitments in a 2015 nuclear deal that was agreed with global powers, a year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord and tightened sanctions.

Tehran said in May that Iran would start enriching uranium at a higher level, unless world powers protected its economy from U.S. sanctions within 60 days.

“Obviously, Iran cannot stick to this agreement unilaterally,” President Hassan Rouhani told the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

“It is necessary that all the sides of this agreement contribute to restoring it,” he said, adding that Iran needed to see “positive signals” from other signatories to the pact, which include Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

He did not give details on what actions Iran would take or say what positive signals Tehran wanted to see.

France and other European signatories to the deal, which aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, have said they wanted to save it, but many of their companies have canceled deals with Tehran, under financial pressure from the United States.

Western powers have accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies saying it wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Rouhani made no mention of attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week which Washington has blamed on Tehran, raising concern about new confrontation. Iran has denied any role in the attacks.

(Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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