Iran Begins Backing Out of Nuclear Deal

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his office had been in contact with all the others involved in the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, to see what could be done to get Tehran to back down.

European Union leaders are going to meet on Thursday May 9 to discuss the implications of Tehran's move.

Speaking on the one year anniversary of the USA withdrawal from the agreement, president Hassan Rouhani announced that the country would begin stockpiling enriched uranium rather than selling it overseas, since such sales are prohibited under US sanctions. However, he added: "We shall return to where we were if within 60 days Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom come to the negotiating table to ensure our interests particularly in the area of oil exports and global banking".

However, the White House said Sunday it would dispatch an aircraft carrier and a bomber wing to the Persian Gulf over what it described as a new threat from Iran. The enriching process could put Iran on track to developing nuclear weapons.

Beijing echoed the Russian stance, pointing out that United States actions against Iran had "further aggravated" the tensions around the nuclear accord. "If these commitments are honoured we can guarantee the continued survival of the agreement".

Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian State Duma, told reporters Wednesday than Iran's withdrawal from the agreement was a direct result of the Trump administration's recent actions.

"Whenever our demands are met, we will resume the same amount of suspended commitments, but otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will suspend the implementation of other obligations step by step", a statement from Iran's Supreme National Security Council said Wednesday. "We will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons".

The move came after Tehran earlier said it was quitting parts of the historic 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which Washington abandoned in 2018 and ignited the current crisis.

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But the recent hardening of stance by the United States has put its security ally Japan in a hard position as Tokyo seeks to maintain good relations with Tehran.

Rouhani added, however, that Iran does not plan to leave the nuclear deal, a year after U.S. President Donald Trump made a decision to pull the United States out of it.

China and Russian Federation, meanwhile, blamed Iran's hostility on the USA withdrawal from the agreement, which was originally spearheaded by then-vice president Joe Biden.

Iran will also stop selling enriched uranium within the 60 days.

Netanyahu said once again on Wednesday, "We will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons".

"This morning, on my way here, I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear program. That is what our heroes did at the dawn of the nations' rebirth, and we march in their path".

Despite the USA moves, Tehran has continued to comply with the terms of the deal, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations watchdog charged with monitoring Iran's nuclear activity.

After holding talks in Moscow, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he could guarantee the nuclear deal's survival if the agreement's European signatories fulfilled their obligations, something he accused them of not doing. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said that while American war hawks often characterize Iran as "a insane irrational regime that can't be negotiated with", Iran "is responding pretty rationally to Trump's wildly reckless and irrational Iran policy". Rouhani has it will lift the agreed 3.67% limit on the level of purity to which it enriches uranium.

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