BERLIN (AP) – Western European parties in the major nuclear deal with Iran on Saturday criticized the US decision to end almost all of the last vestiges of sanctions in the 2015 pact.
The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the agreement with Iran in 2018, leaving the others involved – France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia – struggling to keep it alive.
The deal promises economic incentives to Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. The deal was aimed at preventing Iran from developing a bomb, even though Iran said it did not want to do so.
With the re-imposition of American sanctions, however, Iran's economy has been struggling and violating the restrictions of the pact to try to pressure other nations to do more to help it economically.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the stakes on Wednesday, saying he would revoke all but one of the sanctions waivers covering civil nuclear cooperation. The resignations have allowed Russian, European and Chinese companies to continue working on Iran's civilian nuclear facilities without imposing American fines.
In a joint statement, the ministries of foreign affairs in Germany, France and Britain said they "deeply regret the US decision".
"These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, serve everyone's non-proliferation interests and provide the international community with guarantees of the exclusively peaceful and secure nature of Iran's nuclear activities," they said.
"We are consulting with our partners to assess the consequences of this decision by the United States."
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