Iran has increased pressure on the European Union to help find a way around the strict US economic sanctions in place against it. Today, Iran announced it was knowingly violating more limitations set on its nuclear research by the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). A spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency announced that his nation is resuming work on advanced centrifuges despite the fact such activity is prohibited by the agreement. This is the third time in 2019 that Iran has broken the limits imposed in the agreement. Tehran claims the United States has violated the JCPOA by imposing sanctions on Iran. As a result, Iran is no longer abiding by the agreement. Tehran fails to mention the fact that the US renounced the agreement and walked away in 2015 and is no longer required to respect its terms.
Iran has been hoping European pressure on the US might help to lighten the sanctions which the Trump administration has levied. French President Emmanuel Macron had made a sincere effort to bring Iranian and the US leaders together to create a dialogue and reduce the current level of tension. However, President Trump has made it clear that the sanctions now in place will not be removed at the present time. Iran has responded by resuming work on centrifuges and announcing it publicly. Some observers, and analysts call it an attempt at blackmail, others view it as hardnosed diplomacy. The overall consensus seems to be that Iran’s primary concern is relieving the economic stress caused by sanctions, not resuming its nuclear program.