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But Iran has continued to struggle economically, especially after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal past year and put in place sanctions threatening punishment to those who do business with Iran's important oil sector and its banks.

But on Wednesday, the White House announced it would impose new sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors, starving the country of even more sorely needed export revenue and further ratcheting up political pressure on the regime.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened that Iran would start increasing its stock of low enriched uranium and of heavy water, warning that if Europe didn't undercut American efforts to isolate Iran, Iran would end limiting its enrichment of uranium.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran announced it would no longer sell excess uranium and heavy water as provided under the JCPOA, citing last week's decision by the United States to end sanction waivers on these transactions. Weapons-grade uranium needs to be enriched to around 90%.

Iran will also stop selling enriched uranium within the 60 days. Iran has been sending the excess to Oman.

"I look forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves", he said.

Furthermore, Moscow called on the European Union to improve INSTEX, a mechanism aimed at bypassing U.S. sanctions, to enable Iran to continue its oil trade.

Russia expects the 2015 Iran nuclear deal's European signatories to fulfil their obligations under the pact, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"We hope to use our traditionally friendly relations with Iran to solve problems through dialogue and achieve peace and stability in the region", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding that Iran playing a "constructive" role is important.

Recent U.S. sanctions made it more hard for Iran to export enriched uranium to Russian Federation, so it would have been necessary to reduce production to respect the limits on Iran's inventory.

"After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that U.S. has made impossible to continue", Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted. He also said Iran would uphold its obligations if European signatories to the deal upheld theirs.

But they have also warned Iran that it must continue to comply with all aspects of the deal, especially the elements relating to nuclear activity.

The terms of the withdrawal remain unclear, though the IRNA news agency said President Hassan Rouhani will explain Iran's decision in letters to leaders of Britain, France and Germany that will be handed to ambassadors in Tehran.

After meeting in Moscow with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, Lavrov reaffirmed Russia's support for the deal and blamed the United States for undermining it.

He also expressed gratefulness for Russia's role in preserving the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while slamming the US for "not complying with many global agreements".

China said the agreement should be implemented and called on all sides to avoid an escalation of tensions. The AP report noted that Geng's comments follow moves by Washington to deploy an aircraft carrier and a bomber wing to confront unspecified threats from Tehran. It has revoked waivers that had allowed some countries to continue buying Iranian oil and it aims to reduce Iranian crude exports to zero.

"Today nothing would be worse than Iran, itself, leaving this agreement", Florence Parly told BFM TV.


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