Calling for urgent European countermeasures to U.S. sanctions, Iran's nuclear chief said Sunday that European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal have failed to fulfill their commitments under the pact. The announcement came a day after Tehran announced further breaches of the limits on its nuclear activity set by the pact.
The deal curbed Iran's disputed nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions, but has unraveled since the U.S. withdrew last year and has moved to strangle Iran's oil trade to push it into wider security concessions. France, Germany and Britain have tried to launch a barter trade mechanism with Iran protecting it from U.S. sanctions but have struggled to get it off the ground, and last Wednesday Tehran set a 60-day deadline for effective European action.
"Unfortunately the European parties have failed to fulfill their commitments... The deal is not a one-way street and Iran will act accordingly as we have done so far by gradually downgrading our commitments," said Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's nuclear energy agency. France yesterday urged Iran to halt its moves to downgrade a landmark nuclear pact, saying channels for dialogue were still open. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking on the Le Grand Rendez-vous Europe1/CNEWS/Les Echos program, noted that it was the U.S. which had first undermined the agreement. "The accords... were signed by a certain number of countries, among them the United States, which has said it is no longer bound by the provisions," he said.