Iran challenges Europe and China to stand up to US over nuclear deal

Iran is now giving them 60 days to take significant strides or face a potentially severe new crisis in the Middle EastThe initial two steps the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has announced are at the very low end of the scale of available measures. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesBy taking a couple of small, carefully calibrated steps towards the exit from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has given Europe and China a two-month ultimatum to stand up to the US on the world stage, or risk a slide towards a new Middle East conflict.The erosion of that multilateral agreement and the return to military posturing in the Persian Gulf, has been driven by a small number of radical players in the Trump administration, the Israeli government, and the Saudi and Emirati monarchies. In the US and Israel, this has happened in the face of resistance from the defence establishment.In the year since Donald Trump abrogated the multilateral agreement with Iran – by which Tehran accepted stringent limits on its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief – the European, Russian and Chinese parties to the deal swore to uphold it. But they have failed so far to shield Iran from redoubled

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