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Iran announces new scaling back of nuclear deal commitments

Iran announces new scaling back of nuclear deal commitments
Tehran has announced a decision to further scale down its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal. The move comes just as the US ramped up sanctions against Iran and is seen as a response to the EU’s inability to counter Washington.

The new scaling down of the commitments to the agreement, officially known as the JCPOA, is the third one Iran has made this year. More details of the move are expected to be announced later this week.

“We will take all necessary steps to protect the Iranian nation's rights and interests ... Our third step involves the development of centrifuges. We will take this step on Friday,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Wednesday.

Tehran has been threatening to take the third step by September 6 if the EU fails to protect the Iranian economy from American sanctions. The step is expected to be “stronger” than the previous two, which included exceeding the stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the 300kg limit, as well as going beyond the 3.67 percent enrichment threshold.

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The announcement came within hours of the US slapping the country with a new batch of sanctions, targeting oil business allegedly linked to the Revolutionary Guards Corps – an elite branch of the military that the US designated as a terrorist organisation earlier this year. US officials vowed to continue the sanctions policy against the country to maintain the “maximum pressure” on it and ruled out the possibility of granting any sanction waivers.

Washington's move threatens to destroy the most recent European attempt to salvage the 2015 deal before it even had a chance to flesh out. France earlier came up with an idea of a $15 billion credit program for Iran, that would come in exchange for its compliance with the JCPOA and readiness to participate in regional security talks. Still, Paris admitted that such a deal would only be possible if Washington issues waivers for it.

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