Remaining members recommit to 2015 Iran nuclear deal

World Today

The European Union’s political director Helga Schmid and Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, from left, wait for a bilateral meeting as part of the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran at a hotel in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, July 28, 2019.

Diplomats from Tehran and five world powers look for ways to salvage the Iran nuclear deal as Iran vows to restart some of its nuclear activities.

Tensions have been mounting since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 accord, and reimposed sanctions.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

News reports out of Iran say the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization is ready to restart activities at the Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor. Heavy water can be used in reactors to make plutonium, the fuel used in nuclear weapons.

Iran has previously said it would cease to comply with some parts of the 2015 nuclear deal since the US pulled out of the agreement last year.

Meanwhile, nations that still support the deal met in Vienna Sunday, to discuss how to save the agreement. The meeting brought Iran’s envoy together with representatives from China, Russia and European countries. Iran is demanding that these countries offer economic incentives to offset the sanctions the US has slapped on the country.

No breakthroughs were announced, though attendees called the talks productive. While the countries committed to more meetings, the deal still hangs by a thread.

This comes with tensions high in the region and Iran blaming outside powers. The British Royal navy has now sent a second warship to the region to protect and escort its oil tankers after Iran seized a British-flagged ship earlier this month. And that seizure was seen as a response to the U.K. seizure of an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar.

So Britain is now leading a European effort to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran’s President Rouhani is warning that that presence of foreign forces in the Gulf will only serve to increase tensions.

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