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U.S., Europe Lash Out At Iran For Acting In Breach Of 2015 Nuclear Deal

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015, file photo released by the Iranian President's Office, President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside of Bushehr, Iran. Iran announced Tuesday it would inject uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges i

The United States has called Iran's latest step to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal "a big step in the wrong direction."

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani announced the decision on Tuesday November 5 during a televised speech, stating that Iran has started to "inject gas into the centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear site" near Qom, south of Tehran.

Under the terms of the deal the Islamic Republic is allowed to spin the centrifuges at Fordow without injecting gas, Rouhani said.

Iran said on Monday it had launched a new batch of advanced centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment, further reducing compliance with the deal following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

A U.S. Department of State spokesperson also added, “We fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in conducting its independent verification role in Iran and look to the IAEA to report on any developments.”

Meanwhile, three Republican lawmakers, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Liz Cheney have reacted to Iran's measure and called for reinstating UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This is Iran's fourth step in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) since May. All for steps are aimed at boosting Iran's ability to enrich more high-grade uranium.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said Iran had made "grave" decisions. "I will have discussions in the coming days, including with the Iranians, and we must collectively face the consequences," Macron said at a news conference during a trip to Beijing.

Macron Says Iran Move Signals Its Intent To Quit Nuclear Agreement
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The next few weeks will be dedicated to increasing pressure on Iran to return within the framework of the pact, the French president said, adding that this must be "accompanied by an easing of some sanctions."

"A return to normal can only take place if the United States and Iran agree to reopen a sort of trust agenda" and dialogue, Macron said.

He said he would discuss the issue with US President Donald Trump.

A day earlier, the United Kingdom, France and EU had also protested to Tehran's move. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab characterized Iran's new move as a violation of the JCPOA and a threat to the United Kingdom's national security and called on Iran to return to full compliance with the nuclear deal immediately.

Also on Tuesday, The European Commission said that Iran's decision to take a new step to reduce commitments under the landmark JCPOA is a concern, and puts the accord at risk.

"We urge Iran to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with its commitments under the JCPOA ... it is increasingly difficult to preserve the JCPOA," a spokeswoman for the European Commission said.

France on Tuesday also urged Iran to reverse its decision, saying the move violated a 2015 deal aiming to defuse the atomic standoff with Tehran.

"The announcements by Iran... go against the Vienna agreement," the French foreign ministry said in a statement. "We urge Iran to go back on its decisions which contradict the accord," it added.