Iran still abiding by nuclear deal terms: IAEA

Iran still abiding by nuclear deal terms: IAEA

Some European diplomats have expressed concern in the last few months that the EU's strong stance in support of the nuclear deal was exacerbating tensions with the USA while European efforts to moderate Iran's behavior in the region had not yielded significant results.

VIENNA-Iran continues to fulfil the key requirements of the 2015 nuclear deal, the United Nations atomic agency said Thursday, despite the USA withdrawal from the agreement. In an intervention supported by his French and British counterparts, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the European Union needed to broaden its approach to Iran to focus more on the country's role in the region and human rights, as well as preserving the nuclear deal, according to diplomats.

However, he said Iran "can't escape discussions and negotiations on three other big subjects which worry us", including its pursuit of ballistic missiles, the long-term future of its nuclear work and its "hegemonic" regional ambitions. "I will meet, or not meet, it doesn't matter - it is up to them!"

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo, Nixon exchange blows in tense primary debate Trump tried to convince GOP senators to turn on Sessions: report Trump discussed preparing for impeachment proceedings with his legal team: report MORE withdrew the US from the Obama-era agreement in May, causing many to question the deal's viability without American support, particularly after the White House reimposed biting sanctions.

Washington says it wants to bring Iran back to the negotiating table but Iranian leaders have expressly ruled out renegotiating the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, agreed in 2015 by Iran and the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

The European Union is now working to finalize an economic package aimed at keeping Iran in the deal.

However, many major companies have already pulled out of Iran for fear of U.S. penalties.

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In its latest quarterly report, the United Nations' atomic watchdog said it was provided access "to all the sites and locations in Iran that it needed to visit".

It added: "Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the additional protocol and enhance (s) confidence".

A senior diplomat with knowledge of the issue said that the language was a way "to send a message to Iran to prevent potential problems" rather than being caused by any particular behaviour on the part of the Iranians.

Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium rose to 139 kilograms from 124 kilograms in May, but remained well within the 202-kilogram limit.

Iran's economy has been battered by the return of USA sanctions following Trump's decision, undermining support for the deal within Iran. But with European countries attempting to find a way to salvage the agreement, Khamenei said Iran would continue to negotiate with them.

Le Drian said that along with Germany and Britain, France was actively exploring ways to put in place "financial mechanisms" to make sure Iran could continue taking part in worldwide trade.

Despite European pledges to keep providing Iran with the economic benefits it received from the nuclear deal, many major companies have already pulled out of the country for fear of United States penalties. In June, the country had notified the agency of its plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity.

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