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European Powers Reject Iran 60-Day Ultimatum

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, left, and Jeremy Hunt United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary. File photo

A day after Iran announced a 60-day deadline for three European powers, Russia and China to come with plans to help Tehran against U.S. sanctions, the Europeans have said Thursday that they still backed the nuclear deal with Iran but rejected any "ultimatums" from Tehran to keep it alive.

"We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran's compliance on the basis of Iran's performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments" under a 2015 deal, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany said in a statement.

On the first anniversary of the United States withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran retaliated against increasing U.S. pressure by announcing its decision to gradually reduce its cooperation in the implementation of the JCPOA; as the deal is called. Tehran also gave the five remaining signatories of the accord 60 days to come to the negotiating table to discuss how to help Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.

Europe’s initial reaction was to warn Iran about violating JCPOA, but now the EU and the three principle powers have rejected Iran’s “ultimatum”.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt May 8, highlighted U.S. and European cooperation regarding Iran.

Reporting with AFP