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France brushes aside Trump's call to exit Iran nuclear deal

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Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Dominic Raab UK is

Overnight on Monday evening, Iran launched an attack on Iraq airbases which house U.S. troops - in response to the killing of Soleimani.

The European signatories must decide in the coming days whether to take action against Tehran for reneging on its commitments which could lead to renewed United Nations sanctions.

Iran has violated the main limitations of the nuclear deal, exceeding the allowable heavy water and uranium stocks, the number and type of centrifuges that can be used to enrich uranium, and the uranium purity.

But after Trump's drone strike against Soleimani in Baghdad the regime threatened to expand its programme much further.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is for civilian use only, and the agreement enables the country to operate reactors to generate electricity. The US already withdrew from the treaty in 2018.

The latest announcements could start drastically reducing that time and the three European powers, who along with Russian Federation and China, have attempted to salvage the deal since the United States pulled out and reimposed tough economic sanctions in 2018, are keen to send a firm message that the breaches are unacceptable.

Praised as a hero in Iran but considered an enemy by Western governments, the military chief was behind Iran's network of proxy armies across the Middle East and was a pivotal figure in orchestrating its campaign to oust USA troops from Iraq.

The European Union wants to keep the nuclear deal with Iran and calls on it to return to full compliance, the EU foreign policy chief said after an urgent foreign ministers' meeting, UrduPoint reports.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said "the time has come" for Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China to follow Washington's lead and abandon the existing nuclear agreement, which sets limits on Iran's enrichment levels. Iranian generals resumed their habitual barrage of warnings to Washington, and Trump said new sanctions had been imposed, as his Democratic rivals criticised his handling of the crisis.

Iran has gradually rolled back its commitment to the accord and the recent exchange of hostilities between Iran and the USA has dealt further blows to the pact.

Late Sunday Iran announced a further rollback to its commitment to the troubled nuclear accord amid anger in the Islamic republic over the U.S. killing top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last week in a drone strike.

After an afternoon of talks with ministers, Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, reiterated Europe's continuing support for the deal but warned it may be doomed.

In an attempt to avoid an escalation between Iran and the United States, EU leaders have intensified diplomatic activities, trying to keep alive the nuclear deal while making sure the USA -led anti-IS coalition continues to operate in Iraq.

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