May 21, 2019
France declared on Tuesday that Europe will not succumb to ultimatums from Iran and threats to withdraw from the nuclear deal.
“I do not think that Europe will get drawn into this idea of an ultimatum,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters.
Le Maire said Europeans were facing extremely strong pressure from the United States regarding trade with Iran, and that threats by Tehran to pull out of its nuclear deal with global powers were not helpful in that regard.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers. He followed it with severe sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy and oil exports.
Two weeks ago, Tehran said it would relax some of its commitments under the accord it struck with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
Iran said this month that cap no longer applied in response to the US withdrawal from the deal.
Under the deal Iran may enrich uranium to 3.67% purity – far below the 90% of weapons grade, and also below the 20% level to which Iran refined uranium before the deal.
Iran has threatened that in 60 days it would resume enrichment beyond the 3.67% level unless remaining signatories of the deal find a way to safeguard its vital oil and banking sectors.