Iran Rolls Back Pledges Under Nuclear Pact Abandoned by Washington

Iran had courted Western tourists. After sanctions it’s turning to neighbors

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also tweeted "After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that U.S. has made impossible to continue".

The announcement was addressed to European nations, which are struggling to reconcile the hardline stance taken by the USA with their desire to continue trading and engaging with the energy-rich Islamic Republic.

Former CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman says Iran is using "nuclear blackmail" in negotiations for a new deal.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran announced it would no longer sell excess uranium and heavy water as provided under the JCPOA, citing last week's decision by the USA to end sanction waivers on these transactions.

If European partners meet their pledges, however, Iran said it will restore full compliance with the agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

"We have to see what Iran actually do", said Pompeo.

Oil futures traded little changed in London.

The US also has ended waivers for nations buying Iranian crude oil, a key source of revenue for Iran's government. That's added to supply disruptions from Venezuela to Libya at a time when OPEC and its allies are restraining output. It was also told to cut down on its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 per cent, and cap uranium enrichment at 3.67 per cent, which is about enough to feed the country's energy requirements, but not almost enough to build a bomb.

The U.S. withdrew from the deal after Trump campaigned on a pledge to tear up the document.

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Britain's Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington is seen outside Downing Street in London , Britain, April 1, 2019. No confidence vote in Parliament: The PM would have to resign if she lost a confidence vote in Parliament.

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And White House national-security adviser John Bolton on May 5 announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group to the Middle East in response to a number of "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran.

Asked if there was a threat to the Baghdad government from Iran that raised USA concerns about Iraqi sovereignty, Pompeo said, "No, no, generally this has been our position since the national security strategy came out in the beginning of the Trump administration". He also said Iran would uphold its obligations if European signatories to the deal upheld theirs.

Shortly after the Iranian announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear arms.

"This morning on my way here I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear program", Netanyahu said at a ceremony on Israel's annual day of remembrance for its war dead.

"After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that (the) USA has made impossible to continue", he tweeted. Iran has even threatened to leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signalling an intention to make nuclear weapons. Ultimate authority in Iran is in the hands of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a cleric in power since 1989, who signed off on the nuclear deal but remains close to the hardline faction that challenges Rouhani. "Putin had said that ill-conceived subjective decisions lead to unjustified pressure on Iran and provoke further undesirable steps, which we are witnessing now". "We don't want to leave".

Washington's European allies, which opposed the USA pullout, have tried and failed to come up with ways to blunt the economic impact of the US move while urging Iran to continue to comply.

As Iran's move on Wednesday was anticipated to further destabilize the economy, Iran's Central Bank Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati says the bank has taken some preparatory measures.

Germany, the United Kingdom and France have launched a Euro-based payment system, known as Instex, meant to insulate Iranian transactions from USA sanctions.

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