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Britain sees 'small window' to save Iran nuclear deal

16 July 2019

Iran denies seeking a nuclear bomb.

European foreign ministers held crisis talks Monday on saving the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal as Britain warned the "small window" for success was closing and Tehran issued fresh threats of restarting its atomic programme.

".We're concerned about the risk that the Vienna nuclear agreement could keep falling under the pressure of USA sanctions and Iran's decision not to comply with some of the key provisions of the deal".

"The deal is not in good health, but it's still alive", Mogherini said.

The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal do not see Tehran's breaches as significant and do not intend for now to trigger the pact's dispute mechanism, preferring more diplomacy to ease the crisis, the European Union foreign policy chief said on Monday.

"For the time being, none of the parties to the agreement has signalled their intention to invoke this article", European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told a news conference in Brussels, referring to a mechanism to punish non-compliance.

The 2015 deal with Russian Federation, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and the European Union (EU) was withdrawn one year ago by Washington, which accompanied the decision with the increase of the commercial and financial blockade against Iran.

Things escalated in recent weeks, after Iran said it would increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and enrich uranium beyond the limits set by the deal.

"We hope and we invite Iran to reverse these steps and go back to full compliance with the agreement", she said, pointing out that they were all reversible.

The joint commission overseeing the accord, made up of representatives from the countries still in the deal - the Europeans plus China, Russia and Iran - will meet "very soon" to discuss Tehran's breaches, Hunt said.

"All these gestures are really raising doubt about intentions" of Tehran, said Linas Linkevicius, the foreign minister of Lithuania. In a statement on Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry urged European parties "to take practical, effective and responsible decisions" to save the agreement.

Iran says the European countries must do more to guarantee it the trade and investment dividends it was due to receive in return for United Nations -monitored limits to its nuclear capacity under the deal.

"Our countries have recently taken several diplomatic initiatives to contribute to de-escalation and dialogue, for which signs of goodwill are urgently needed, from all sides". But he added that Iran could only expect better economic ties to the outside world if it stuck to its obligations.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday reiterated that Tehran was willing to negotiate on the condition that the USA lifted sanctions and returned to the nuclear deal.

Britain sees 'small window' to save Iran nuclear deal