Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Iran on collision course with the West over nuclear deal as US tensions soar over tanker | World | News

Tehran has also accelerated tensions with US after refusing to negotiate the transfer of an Iranian tanker. Iran has vowed to further breach terms of the nuclear deal starting from tomorrow. The deal signed by major world nations including the UK, Russia and France aims to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for sanction relief.

The treaty had already been undermined after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark deal lasy year and imposed “maximum pressure” on Iranian oil exports.

Tehran has since retaliated and increased its levels of Uranium – a chemical used in the process of making nuclear weapons.

Tehran has called on world powers including the European Union to reset the terms of the deal.

French President Emmanuel Macron has tried to ease tensions and has floated the idea of offering Iran around $15 billion in credit lines until the end of this year if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif said: “I am going to inform (European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini) in a couple of hours about Iran’s decision that will be implemented on Friday.

“Of course these steps are reversible if the EU fulfils its promises to salvage the deal.”

The British Foreign office has called Iran’s decision to speed up its levels of uranium enrichment “deeply concerning”.

The Foreign Office said in a statement: “Iran’s plan to suspend limits on nuclear research and development is deeply concerning.

“This third step away from its commitments under the nuclear deal is particularly disappointing at a time when we and our European and international partners are working hard to de-escalate tensions with Iran.”

Tensions between Iran and the US have also soared after Tehran refused to enter into negotiations with Washington in order to hand an Iranian tanker.

The Adrian Darya 1 vessel had been accused of transferring 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil to Syria – something Tehran has denied.

The tanker was temporarily held off Gibraltar with the help of the Royal Marines after it was suspected of violating EU sanctions.

It was released last month by Gibraltar.

Brian Hook, head of the department’s Iran Action Group, had made initial contact with captain of the vessel in order to seize control over it.

Mr Hook told the Financial Times the US is ”working very closely with the maritime community to disrupt and deter illicit oil exports”.

It is claimed the US had offered several million dollars to impound the vessels.

READ MORE: Macron risks infuriating Trump as he offers Tehran $15billion

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Both prime ministers agreed on the need to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon and stop wider destabilising Iranian behaviour.

”The Prime Minister stressed the need for dialogue and a diplomatic solution.”

Israel had previously favoured a more aggressive approach to the increased tensions in the Gulf.

Mr Netanyahu said prior to his London visit: “This is not the time to hold talks with Iran, this is the time to increase the pressure on Iran.”

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