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Remaining signatories to Iran nuclear deal to hold crisis talks in Vienna

AFP-JIJI

The remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal will hold crisis talks in Vienna next week to discuss how to save the accord despite the withdrawal of the U.S., the EU said Thursday.

Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran will meet on June 28 as tensions in the Persian Gulf soar after attacks on tankers and the shooting down of a U.S. drone.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Thursday it brought down an unmanned surveillance aircraft, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to warn it had made a “big mistake.”

The European Union announced the emergency convening of the multicountry commission that oversees the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the bloc’s 28 leaders met for a summit in Brussels.

“The meeting has been called with the intention of ensuring the continued implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects and discuss ways to tackle challenges arising from the withdrawal and re-imposition of sanctions by the United States on Iran, as well as recent announcements by Iran regarding the implementation of its nuclear commitments,” the bloc said in a statement.

On Monday Tehran started a 10-day countdown to surpass a stockpile limit on enriched uranium set by the deal, saying it would exceed the 300-kg restriction by Thursday.

The Islamic republic said it would only pull back from the threat if other parties to the nuclear deal “live up to their commitments.”

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated since Trump pulled out of the accord last year. The United States has since bolstered its military presence in the region to head off a perceived threat and blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

The crisis in the Persian Gulf reached new heights on Thursday with the downing of the U.S. drone, which Tehran says infringed its airspace but which the Pentagon insists was in international skies.

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