France warns Iran against violating nuclear commitments: foreign minister – Reuters

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FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a working session during the Foreign ministers of G7 nations meeting in Dinard, France, April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/Pool/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – France warned Iran on Tuesday that a violation of its nuclear commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal would be a serious mistake and that France, Britain and Germany were making it clear to Tehran that it was not in its interest to do so.

Iran will take new steps to reduce its commitments under its nuclear deal with world powers on July 7, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Tuesday.

“Iran has announced its intention to no longer meet certain obligations of the Vienna agreement, in particular on the authorized stocks of low-enriched uranium from gas. They have announced this initiative for the coming days,” France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers.

“An Iranian violation would be a serious mistake and a bad response to the pressure exerted by the United States,”

He said France, Germany and Britain – the European signatories of the accord – were totally mobilized to tell Iran that it was not in its interest to break its nuclear commitments and that they were working together to de-escalate the situation.

Three diplomats told Reuters on Monday that the European powers had lodged a diplomatic demarche, the term for a formal note, on June 22, with two saying the communication aimed to warn Iran specifically against scaling back its commitments to the accord.

“This accord is the best guarantee of stability for the entire region … because proliferation is the major risk and until now we are convinced Iran is respecting its commitments,” he said.

He said the United States’ decision to add sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader and possibly on its foreign minister was “disruptive”.

The United States withdrew from the deal last year and reimposed sanctions. Iran says it intends to stay in the deal, but cannot do so indefinitely unless European countries find ways to protect it from U.S. sanctions.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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