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Europeans Chide US Sanction Moves      05/30 09:14


   BERLIN (AP) -- The western European parties to the landmark nuclear deal 
with Iran on Saturday criticized a U.S. decision to end nearly all of the last 
vestiges of sanctions relief provided under the 2015 pact.

   The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the deal with Iran in 2018, leaving the 
others involved  France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia  struggling 
to keep it alive.

   The deal promises Iran economic incentives in return for curbs on its 
nuclear program. The deal was meant to prevent Iran from developing a bomb, 
even though Iran said it did not want to do that.

   With the re-imposition of American sanctions, however, Iran's economy has 
been struggling, and it has been violating the restrictions of the pact in 
order to try to pressure the other nations to do more to help it economically.

   U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the stakes on Wednesday, saying 
he would revoke all but one of the sanctions waivers covering civil nuclear 
cooperation. The waivers had allowed Russian, European and Chinese companies to 
continue to work on Iran's civilian nuclear facilities without drawing American 

   In a joint statement, the foreign ministries of Germany, France and Britain 
said they "deeply regret the U.S. decision."

   "These projects, endorsed by U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, serve 
the nonproliferation interests of all and provide the international community 
with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear 
activities," they said.

   "We are consulting with our partners to assess the consequences of this 
decision by the United States."

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