Replace Iran Nuclear Deal With "Trump Deal"

China the biggest buyer of Gulf oil is navigating a challenging situation as tensions simmer between the US and Iran

Trump's move meant Iran has not benefitted from the sanctions relief it had hoped for, creating more trouble for its already battered economy.

Iran has gradually been rolling back its commitment after President Trump pulled the US out of the deal in 2018 - and recently announced that it would no longer respect limits set on how many centrifuges it can use to enrich uranium.

The European trio's accusation that Iran violates the key restrictions of the nuclear deal are unjustified, the Russian Foreign Ministry said urging the countries not to increase tensions that could endanger the pact.

On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Minister accused France, the United Kingdom and Germany of "bowing to USA diktat" on the nuclear deal, and reiterated that the European parties to the treaty could still save it, "but not by appeasing the bully and pressuring the complying party".

Britain, France, and Germany had on Tuesday announced they were launching a dispute mechanism under the deal - known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - because Iran was not meeting its commitments.

"Our goal is clear: we want to preserve the accord and come to a diplomatic solution within the agreement", Maas readded.

"Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran", they said. "Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance".

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Iran has been reducing its adherence to the agreement since President Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018, and announced last week it would begin enriching as much uranium as it wanted in the wake of the targeted USA drone strike that killed the commander of the Quds Force. But it warned that eventual possible referral of Iran back to the UN Security Council for noncompliance would have dire consequences, and has previously hinted they could include exiting the NPT altogether.

Since then, Iran has reduced its compliance, saying the Trump administration's actions give it the right.

As the European parties to the deal, we have written to the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, in his capacity as Coordinator of the JCPoA. "And Iran's adherence to the NPT and IAEA Additional Protocol alone makes the JCPOA worth ... preserving".

The powers said they are referring "this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism, as set out" in the nuclear deal.

"I see an opportunity to re-engage at least on the nuclear front", Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute told AFP. Washington imposed sanctions on Tehran. She added, however, that "the ability of the Europeans to put anything on the table is extremely limited".

Tehran has wound down its compliance since the United States withdrawal and, last week, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the non-compliance had become "so acute" that the European powers were looking at taking action.

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