Iran prepares to withdraw from parts of nuclear deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference on Monday

The US unilaterally withdrew on May 8, 2018 from the 2015 multilateral deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of biting sanctions.

According to Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Tehran's backtracking on the agreement was due to external pressure.

The meeting came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of planning "imminent" attacks on a hastily organised visit to neighbouring Iraq on Tuesday.

Hassan Rouhani's address to the nation came on the anniversary of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the atomic accord.

Iran sent letters Wednesday on its decision to the leaders of Britain, China, the European Union, France and Germany via their ambassadors in Tehran. Worldwide businesses rushed to do deals with Iran, most notably the billion-dollar sales by Airbus and Boeing Co.

Washington announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Gulf to counter what it says are Iranian threats.

But they have also warned Iran that it must continue to comply with all aspects of the deal, especially the elements relating to nuclear activity.

United Nations inspectors still say that Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal, which is still backed by European powers as well as Democrats seeking to unseat Trump next year.

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The nuclear deal was meant to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.

Mr Rouhani also said any referral to the United Nations Security Council would be met with a "firm response", without specifying what this would entail - while stressing Tehran's willingness to negotiate.

The nuclear deal was the flagship policy of Rouhani, who won two landslide elections on promises to end Iran's isolation and open its economy up to the world.

President Trump has taken a particularly hard line towards Iran since he took office in 2016. The aim of the latter is to keep Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium under the 300-kilogram limit set out in the nuclear accord.

Since withdrawing from the nuclear deal, Washington has given waivers to some countries, mainly in Asia, to keep buying Iranian oil for a limited time.

Currently, the accord limits Iran to enriching uranium to 3.67%, which can fuel a commercial nuclear power plant. He added, "We will continue enrichment whether you want to purchase it or not", referring to the arrangement in which Iran exports low-enriched uranium in exchange for natural uranium.

While neither Shanahan nor Bolton elaborated on the gist of USA intelligence, other US officials told Reuters there were "multiple, credible threats" against US forces on land, including in Iraq, by Iran and proxy forces, and at sea.

So far, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna has confirmed in a series of reports that Iran has upheld its side of the bargain by significantly reducing its nuclear activities. No significant USA forces have so far withdrawn from Syria.

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