Iran reduces commitments to nuclear deal to give chance to diplomacy

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Iran has threatened to abandon its nuclear commitments unless European countries do more to help its sanction-hit economy.

Europe hopes to use a special trading mechanism called INSTEX to enable businesses to deal with Iran without using the USA dollar or financial system, thereby helping the Iranian economy while avoiding Washington's sanctions.

A noted French academic working with a French-Iranian researcher arrested in Iran says he last heard from Fariba Adelkhah on June 12 - when she may already have lost her freedom.

Netanyahu's remarks come as European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels, determined to do their part in rescuing the 2015 Iranian Nuclear agreement.

The EU leaders said Iran's non-compliance with Obama-era deal would not be that significant, and chose to focus on diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 deal.

The State Department's tweet Monday also cited Japanese Press Secretary Takeshi Osuga's remarks last week that his country was "strongly concerned" by Iran's decision, though it left out him emphasizing Tokyo's "support" for the agreement, "which contributes to strengthening the global non-proliferation regime and thereby to the stability of the Middle East".

Iranian navy vessels came to the assistance of a disabled foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that needed repairs, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

French President Emmanuel Macron says he will soon hold talks with his US, Iranian and Russian counterparts, in a bid to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.

New Zealand's first gun buyback event a success
Licenced firearms owners have time until December 20 to surrender weapons that have now been deemed illegal under the scheme. Others at the firearms collection at Riccarton Racecourse said the process was simple, but were steadfast in disappointment.

British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been jailed in Tehran since 2016 on sedition charges she denies.

Trump's remark came after the U.S. had accused Tehran of two separate attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

As the meeting got underway in Brussels, China sought to keep the pressure on from afar, calling on all parties to remain committed to the 2015 nuclear deal and saying the USA should respect the interests of others and abandon its maximum-pressure approach with Iran.

The breaches come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US. The U.S. was forced, kicking and screaming, into the agreement.

Washington has since reimposed draconian sanctions to throttle Iran's oil trade in a policy of "maximum pressure" on Tehran to agree stricter limits on its nuclear capacity, curb its ballistic missile programme, and end support for proxy forces in a Middle East power struggle with United States ally Saudi Arabia. Mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Iran shooting down a United States military surveillance drone has added to the fears of an armed conflict breaking out.

Haq said Guterres supports the Iran deal and considers it a "significant diplomatic achievement".

"Otherwise, you'll end up with a lose/lose situation", he said.

"U.S. diplomats don't roam around Tehran, so we don't see any reason for Iranian diplomats to roam freely around New York City, either", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Washington Post on Sunday. "For now nothing is reversible so we have more room for diplomacy".

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