EU rejects any ultimatums after Iran's move on nuclear deal

European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain on Thursday said they were still committed to the Iran nuclear deal but would not accept ultimatums after Iran announced it was scaling back curbs to its nuclear program.

After Tehran’s announcement and threat to take more action that could violate the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran, targeting revues from exports of its industrial metals.

“We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons),” the statement read, with JCPOA referring to the Iran nuclear deal.

They said they regretted the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States and added that they remained committed to preserving and fully implementing the Iran nuclear deal.

“We are determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran,” said the European states, adding that included getting a special purpose vehicle aimed at enabling business with Iran off the ground.

A year ago, Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal signed by Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the United States.

The accord relaxed international sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran accepting curbs on its nuclear program that were designed to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. Tehran has said it pursued only a peaceful nuclear program.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michelle Martin