UK, Germany, France move to sanction Iran over nuclear steps

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Germany, France and the United Kingdom moved on Tuesday to formally sanction Iran over claims that Tehran has violated the 2015 nuclear agreement.

A joint statement released by the foreign offices of the three countries stated that Iranian officials have chosen to “further reduce compliance” under the agreement. The statement highlighted what it said was Iran’s fifth step in reducing its commitments under the deal, which it said was the “limit on the number of centrifuges.”

“We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments under the JCPoA and to refer this matter to the Joint Commission under the Dispute Resolution Mechanism,” read the statement.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was negotiated during the Obama administration between Iran and the U.S. and other parties — including Germany, France and the United Kingdom. It places limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, which President Trump had repeatedly excoriated. That decision led to even higher tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which culminated earlier this month in a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general and brought the two nations close to war.

The statement from the three governments goes on to rebuke the Trump administration for exiting the deal, a move that European signatories of the deal have argued contributed to Iran’s decision to withdraw from the agreement and rising tensions in the Middle East.

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