Iran to announce partial withdrawal from nuclear deal — Reports

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani plans to declare his country’s “partial termination” of the nuclear deal with major powers on Wednesday, according to two Iranian news agencies.

The Isna and Tasnim agencies reported on Monday that the date was chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 pact.

Rowhani is expected to explain his steps in a live interview with state broadcaster IRIB on Wednesday evening, according to reports that have not yet been confirmed by the president’s office.

The nuclear deal was meant to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.

But under the Trump administration, the U.S. exited the deal and revived sanctions, including an embargo against Iran’s economically important oil sector.

So far, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna has confirmed in a series of reports that Iran has upheld its side of the bargain by significantly reducing its nuclear activities.

The other powers that are still involved in the pact – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU – have been trying to keep Tehran from abandoning the pact in spite the renewed U.S. punitive measures.

Officials from Iran and the nuclear deal’s other remaining parties are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

The discussion is expected to focus on an agreed barter mechanism that is meant to circumvent U.S. sanctions by avoiding direct money flows between Iranian and European companies that do business with each other. 

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