Iran is trying to expand its nuclear capacity as Europe tries to hold onto the Obama bad deal
The Europeans appear ready to embrace short-term business interest at the risk of nuclear annihilation at the hands of Iran within a decade. That looks like more than a bad bargain. It looks irrational.
Iran will not cooperate more fully with atomic inspectors until a standoff over its nuclear deal is resolved, its U.N. envoy said, as one signatory warned Tehran against moving ahead with preparations to boost its uranium enrichment capacity.
Tehran, meanwhile, signaled its resolve to expand its enrichment capability by detailing plans to build advanced centrifuges — the machines that enrich uranium.
European powers have been scrambling to salvage the agreement they signed in 2015 since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out last month and said he would reimpose far-reaching U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Foreign and finance ministers from those three countries — France, Britain and Germany — have written to U.S. officials to stress their commitment to upholding the pact, and to urge Washington to spare EU firms active in Iran from secondary sanctions.
An Iranian withdrawal from the deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, would "further unsettle a region where additional conflicts would be disastrous," the ministers wrote in the letter dated June 4 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
Since the U.S. pullout was announced, authorities in Tehran have sent mixed signals on whether they believe the nuclear deal's remaining signatories, which also include China and Russia, can salvage it.