EU to chair high-level meeting on Iran nuclear deal June 28

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union will chair a meeting of the nations involved in the embattled Iran nuclear deal in Vienna on June 28.

Besides the EU, the meeting will be attended by high-level representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran, the bloc said Thursday in a statement.

It said the meeting was called “with the intention of ensuring the continued implementation” of the Iran nuclear deal, which has come under increasing pressure since the United States withdrew from the agreement last year.

The statement said the meeting will seek to address “challenges arising from the withdrawal and re-imposition of sanctions by the United States on Iran,” as well as Iran’s announcement earlier this week that it could break the limits set on its uranium stockpile by the 2015 deal.

“I believe the deal that was signed in 2015 is not enough, but it’s a good deal,” French president Emmanuel Macron said after a meeting of the European Council. “I’m ruing the announcement made by Iran at the start of the week. France will do everything for Iran to remain in the deal.”

Macron also called for a de-escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran after President Donald Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” by shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz and gathered top national security officials at the White House to discuss options.

“We want to preserve collective security in the region, that of our allies” Macron said. “We want to maintain a maximum of guarantees to ensure Iran does not get nuclear weapon. The most important is to avoid any form of escalation.”

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