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Iran accuses EU of abandoning nuclear deal

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 22, 2019, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits to receive a foreign official at his office in the capital Tehran. - Iran said its armed forces

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 22, 2019, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waits to receive a foreign official at his office in the capital Tehran. - Iran said its armed forces "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed after taking off from Tehran last week, killing all 176 people aboard. Zarif tweeted "Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster", adding "Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations." (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)  

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday three European nations — U.K., France and Germany — had succumbed to “high school bully” Donald Trump when they triggered a dispute mechanism in nuclear deal.

The three governments “sold out remnants of #JCPOA (the nuclear deal) to avoid new Trump tariffs,” Mr. Zarif charged.

“It won't work my friends. You only whet his appetite. Remember your high school bully?”

Germany's defence minister on Thursday confirmed a Washington Post report that the United States had threatened to impose a 25% tariff on imports of European cars if EU governments continued to back the nuclear deal.

“This expression or threat, as you will, does exist,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told a news conference during a visit to London.

Mr. Zarif said Europe's unwillingness to antagonise the United States made a mockery of its stated determination to rescue the nuclear deal.

“If you want to sell your integrity, go ahead,” Mr. Zarif tweeted. “But DO NOT assume high moral/legal ground.”

The European states triggered a dispute mechanism established under the deal, which allows a party to claim significant non-compliance by another party before a joint commission, with appeals possible to an advisory board and ultimately to the UN Security Council.

Since Washington pulled out of the agreement and reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions in 2018, EU governments have sought to find a way to allow European businesses to continue trading with Iran without incurring huge US penalties.

As its economy has gone into reverse, an increasingly frustrated Iran has hit back with the step-by-step suspension of its own commitments under the deal.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 9:57:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-accuses-eu-of-abandoning-nuclear-deal/article30578502.ece

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