France, Germany and Britain urge Iran to renew nuclear deal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — France, Germany and Britain have urged Iran to accept a proposal to revive the deal limiting its nuclear program, saying final texts of a deal have been prepared but that Iran “chose not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity.”

The three European governments said in a joint statement on Saturday that Iran had instead raised “separate issues” and “continued to escalate its nuclear program well beyond any plausible civilian justification.”

The statement comes amid efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to begin backing away from the terms of the deal.

The UN’s atomic watchdog said on Wednesday it believed Iran had further increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium to a short technical step from weapons-grade levels.

Iran sent a written response last week in talks on a final draft roadmap for the parties to return to the nuclear deal in tatters, though the United States questioned Tehran’s offer . Neither side gave details of the contents.

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