IRAN AN­NOUNCES PAR­TIAL WITH­DRAWAL FROM LAND­MARK NU­CLEAR DEAL

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD - BY TAMER EL-GHOBASHY, KAREEM FAHIM

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani on Wed­nes­day an­nounced that his coun­try was tak­ing steps to halt its com­pli­ance with el­e­ments of a land­mark nu­clear ac­cord, in a move that ap­peared cer­tain to ag­gra­vate

ten­sions with the United States.

In a tele­vised speech, Rouhani said that Iran would hold on to stock­piles of ex­cess ura­nium and heavy wa­ter used in its nu­clear re­ac­tors. He gave a 60-day dead­line for new terms to the nu­clear ac­cord, after which Tehran would re­sume higher ura­nium en­rich­ment.

“We are ready to ne­go­ti­ate, within the bound­aries of JCPOA,” he said re­fer­ring to the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion nu­clear deal. “It is not us who has left the ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­ble.” In Novem­ber, the United States reim­posed sanc­tions that have stran­gled Iran’s oil and bank­ing sec­tors as well as its for­eign trade. The sanc­tions came after the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to with­draw from the pact that Iran ne­go­ti­ated with world powers in 2015, and that curbed its nu­clear pro­gramme in ex­change for wide­spread sanc­tions re­lief. Rouhani’s speech co­in­cided with the first an­niver­sary of the U.S. with­drawal and came amid height­ened Amer­i­can eco­nomic and mil­i­tary pres­sure on Iran, in­clud­ing the de­ploy­ment of an air­craft car­rier to the Mid­dle East that U.S. of­fi­cials say was in re­sponse to cred­i­ble in­di­ca­tions Tehran planned to at­tack U.S. in­ter­ests in the re­gion.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani, out­lined on Wed­nes­day his coun­try’s de­ci­sion to stop com­ply­ing with el­e­ments of the Iran nu­clear deal. (Pool New/reuters)

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