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Iran to EU: This is the 'last chance' to save nuclear deal

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned the European Union that this is the "last chance" to save the 2015 nuclear deal. EPA-EFE/STRINGER
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned the European Union that this is the "last chance" to save the 2015 nuclear deal. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

June 28 (UPI) -- Iran warned the European Union on Friday that it will further reduce its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal if the payment system meant to bypass U.S. sanctions doesn't materialize.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi met with the other countries in the nuclear deal Friday, saying this is the "last chance" to save the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are parties to the agreement. The United States pulled out more than a year ago.

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"I believe this meeting could be the last opportunity for the remaining signatories of the JCPOA to convene and seek how they can implement their commitments toward Iran," Mousavi said.

Tehran stopped complying with the limits on the production of enriched uranium and heavy water in May. Last week, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said it would surpass the uranium stockpile limit on June 27.

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Iranian leaders are concerned that the European signatories are not serious about Instex, a payment method that would allow them to circumvent the U.S. sanctions that are crippling Iran's economy.

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"If the Europeans take a step and operationalize Instex, it should meet our needs," Mousavi said. "But if we realize that this is a commonplace and superficial mechanism, Iran will definitely not accept it and will firmly take the second step at the set time."

The EU responded saying they are working to open up trade channels in an effort to save the nuclear deal. The multi-million-euro credit line would allow trade with Iran to resume. The EU is determined to find a diplomatic solution to the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

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The future of the nuclear deal will be a hot topic at the G20 summit in Japan this week and Iranians want to hear the outcome of those talks. There are also ongoing talks in Vienna between the EU, China and Russia.

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