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UK warns Iran of ‘consequences’ if it retreats from 2015 nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks to press members at the Mehrabad International Airport ahead of his departure to Iraq, in Tehran, Iran on 11 March 2019. [Iranian Presidency / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks to press members in Tehran, Iran on 11 March 2019 [Iranian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

The UK has warned Iran would face “consequences” if it backtracks from the international nuclear agreement signed in 2015, agencies reported.

Speaking to parliament, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field said Tehran’s warning that it would back away from some terms of the deal as a result of the renewed US sanctions were “unwelcome”.

“Today’s announcement from Tehran is … an unwelcome step,” Field said.

He added: “We are not at this stage talking about re-imposing sanctions, but one has to remember that they were of course lifted in exchange for the nuclear restrictions … Should Iran cease meeting its nuclear commitments, there would of course be consequences.”

READ: US targets Iran’s metals for sanctions, Tehran relaxes nuclear deal compliance 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sent letters to ambassadors of signatories to the deal in Tehran, informing them that Iran will no longer sell its excess enriched uranium and heavy water, as demanded by the nuclear deal.

Rouhani set a 60-day deadline for the parties to either change the terms of the agreement or face the prospect of Iran resuming its uranium enrichment programme.

Last year, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015  Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations. The group includes the five permanent UN Security Council members – the US, China, Russia, the UK and France – plus Germany.

The deal was created due to fears that Tehran was “months away” from building a nuclear weapon, however, Iran has always maintained that its uranium enrichment was for civilian applications.

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