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EU should uphold nuclear deal obligations, normalize economic ties - Zarif

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EU countries should uphold their obligations in the nuclear deal with Iran and normalize economic ties despite US sanctions, its foreign minister said on Thursday, in reaction to an EU statement that asked Tehran to remain committed to the accord.

“Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, the EU should uphold obligations - including normalization of economic ties,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account.

EU states said on Thursday they wanted to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal and rejected “ultimatums”, after Tehran scaled back curbs on its nuclear program and threatened moves that might breach the pact.

Merkel: EU wants to avoid escalation of dispute

The European Union wants to avoid an escalation in the dispute about Iran’s nuclear program, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, adding that Tehran must recognize that it is in its own interests to remain committed to the nuclear deal.

Iran announced steps on Wednesday to ease curbs on its nuclear program, in response to new US sanctions imposed after Washington abandoned the deal a year ago.