Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Saturday and warned him that Iran would take the next step in reducing its nuclear commitments unless Europe lives up to its own undertakings.
Tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers — known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
At the height of the crisis, Trump ordered strikes against Iran on June 21 before cancelling them at the last minute.
Macron has been leading efforts to de-escalate the situation, and expressed hopes at a G7 meeting last week of bringing Rouhani and Trump together for a meeting.
Rouhani has played down the likelihood of that happening unless the United States first lifts crippling sanctions that it has slapped on Iran since pulling out of the deal.
Rouhani has spoken to Macron over the phone and said, “If Europe cannot operationalise its commitments, Iran will take its third step to reduce its JCPOA commitments”, the government website reported.
However, “this step, just like the other ones, will be reversible,” he added.
“Unfortunately after this unilateral move by the US, European countries did not take concrete measures to implement their commitments.
“The contents of JCPOA are unchangeable and all parties must be committed to its contents,” he said.
In a statement from his office, Macron stressed the importance of “the current dynamic to create the conditions for a de-escalation through dialogue and building a durable solution in the region”.
A French diplomatic source said it was important, after recent discussions between Paris and Tehran, to establish that Mr Rouhani was “still ready to negotiate. And that is the case”.
Earlier in July, the Iranian drone was brought down by counter-drone jamming equipment, which was operated by US marines aboard the USS Boxer.
Iran armed forces had said that all Iranian drones in the Persian Gulf returned safely to their bases.