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Macron Calls On Iran To 'Immediately' Reduce Enriched Uranium Stockpile

France's President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he leaves a press conference at the end of an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels, on July 1, 2019
Paris, July 2, 2019 (AFP) -

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Iran Tuesday to "immediately" reduce its enriched uranium reserves, a day after Tehran announced it had breached limits under a 2015 nuclear deal to retaliate against new US sanctions.

In a statement, Macron said he had "noted with concern" Tehran's overstepping of the limit set in the 2015 deal with world powers and called on Iran "to immediately reverse this overshoot and abstain from any other measure that would undermine its nuclear obligations".

The French leader said he would continue in the coming days to work towards a resolution of the standoff between Iran and the US that would see Tehran "fully respect its obligations and continue to benefit from the economic advantages of the (2015) deal."

Iran announced in May that it would no longer respect the limit set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles.

The move was seen as a way of exerting pressure on Europe to try and salvage the deal which has been hanging by a thread since US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing from the accord and reimposing biting sanctions on Tehran.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran had now exceeded the limit on its enriched uranium reserves.

Trump accused the country of "playing with fire".