Iran warns of 3rd step to cut nuclear deal commitments

US won't waive sanctions to allow French-proposed Iran credit line

The FATF said in June that it could only consider fully enacted legislation and gave Iran until October to meet its norms or face greater scrutiny of worldwide financial transactions with Tehran.

Europe has two months to negotiate sanctions relief for Tehran, otherwise the country will initiate "phase three" in its rollback of commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said.

The president described the third phase of Iran's commitment reductions as "highly important in nature", emphasizing that this would the "most significant step that we take" and would "have extraordinary effects".

In July, it said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the maximum set by the deal.

In another development, Iran reacted to a report by the Dutch daily de Volkskrant, which revealed that an agent hired by the Netherlands' intelligence organization played the leading role in planting the notorious Stuxnet virus in computers operating Iran's Natanz enrichment facility back in 2007.

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Ministry announced that seven members of the 23-member crew of the seized British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero held in the Persian Gulf would be released - an apparent good-will gesture meant to defuse tensions.

The country's vital crude oil sales have plummeted by more than 80% under American restrictions. It turned off its tracking beacon off the coast of Syria this week, leading to renewed speculation that its oil will end up there, despite earlier assurances to the contrary.

"There are joint statements at the ministerial level between Iran and foreign ministers of the remaining participants in the JCPOA in which they committed themselves to find those practical solutions in eleven different areas, like banking, trade insurance, transportation, investment".

Iran says it aims to keep the nuclear deal alive but can not abide by it indefinitely unless the European countries that signed it ensure it receives the promised economic benefits.

Iran and three European countries - Britain, France and Germany - have been trying to save a landmark agreement reached in 2015 and meant to limit Tehran's nuclear programme after the USA pulled out previous year.

Araghchi does not see a chance of a meeting between President Rouhani and US President Donald Trump as long as the maximum policy pressure is in place and as long as the US is out of the deal.

A senior US diplomat has ruled out providing any sanctions waivers to accommodate a French proposal to extend a $15 billion credit line to Iran.

At the same time, tensions have spiked across the Gulf over mysterious tanker explosions, the shooting down of a United States military surveillance drone by Iran and the U.S. deploying more troops and fighter jets to the region.

Trump again said he was open to the possibility of meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but made clear he had no intention of easing sanctions.

"Iran is stifling a United Nations investigation of its alleged storage of nuclear equipment and radioactive material", the Wall Street Journal reported on September 2.

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