Moscow: Tehran's Roll-Back on Nuke Deal Provoked by External Pressure on Iran

The Trump administration also said it will end a waiver program that allowed some nations to circumvent USA sanctions and continue buying Iranian oil without suffering penalties. All were signatories to the nuclear deal, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

"I don't want to talk about what underlays it, but make no mistake we have good reason to want to communicate clearly about how the Iranians should understand about how we will respond to actions that they may take", he added. "There is a 60-day windows of opportunity for diplomacy", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal a year ago, and subsequently reimposed tough sanctions on Iran, including on its lifeblood oil exports with the stated intent of reducing them to zero and starving Iran's economy.

A year after Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, President Hassan Rouhani unveiled measures that do not appear to violate the deal's terms yet, but could do so in the future if Iran were to persist on the course he set out.

All signatories were formally notified about Tehran's decision, with Zarif using his coinciding visit to Moscow to offer personal explanations about why it was taken.

United Nations inspectors still say that Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal, which is still backed by European powers as well as Democrats seeking to unseat Trump next year.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran when Trump tore up the deal. Rouhani said Iran wanted to negotiate new terms with the remaining partners in the deal, but acknowledged that the situation was dire.

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The U.S. last week stopped issuing waivers for countries importing Iranian crude oil, a crucial source of cash for Iran's government.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the move was in response to "new intelligence that suggests allied interests and American forces could be imperiled", according to multiple USA officials.

He said: "This surgery is to save the deal, not destroy it". Global businesses rushed to do deals with Iran, most notably the billion-dollar sales by Airbus and Boeing Co.

However, Rouhani warned of a "strong reaction" if European leaders instead seek to impose more sanctions on Iran via the U.N. Security Council. "We will continue to fight those who would kill us".

The Wall Street Journal cited European diplomats as saying that Iran may ramp up research into centrifuges that could produce highly enriched uranium more quickly.

Currently, the accord limits Iran to enriching uranium to 3.67 per cent, which can fuel a commercial nuclear power plant. Weapons-grade uranium needs to be enriched to around 90pc. Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's nuclear program, told The Associated Press in September that the IR-2M and the IR-4 can enrich uranium five times faster than an IR-1, while the IR-6 can do it 10 times faster. Iran has previously enriched to 20%. The Stuxnet computer virus, widely believed to be a joint U.S.

  • Sonia Alvarado