EU calls on Iran to reverse uranium enrichment and uphold nuclear deal

The European Union on Tuesday urged Iran to reverse its scaled up uranium enrichment that breaches a nuclear arms control deal it agreed in 2015.

“We continue to urge Iran not take further measures that undermine the nuclear deal to stop and to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with the JCPOA, including the production of low-enriched uranium,” an EU spokeswoman told reporters, referring to the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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The remarks come after Iran said Monday that its uranium enrichment level has passed 4.5 percent, exceeding the 3.67-percent cap set by its landmark 2015 nuclear deal, and may enrich at even higher levels, a move that could mean the return of all economic sanctions on Tehran.

China Monday expressed regret over Iran's decision to breach the uranium enrichment limit set under the nuclear deal with world powers, and called on all relevant parties to exercise restraint and continue dialogue to prevent the situation from escalating while blaming the U.S. for the heightened tensions.

Iran's move angered the American leadership with U.S. President Donald Trump saying "Iran's doing a lot of bad things" and Vice President Mike Pence adding on Monday that his country will continue to pile up economic pressure on Iran and defend U.S. interests as Tehran went one step further in endangering the 2015 deal.

(With input from Reuters.)

(Cover: Iran's Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (L), government spokesman Ali Rabiei (C), and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi at a joint press conference at the presidential headquarters in the capital Tehran, July 7, 2019. /VCG Photo)