Iran exercising ‘maximum restraint’ despite U.S. withdrawal from nuclear deal – Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (not in the picture) in Tokyo, Japan, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) – Iran remains committed to its obligations under a multilateral nuclear deal despite the United States’ withdrawal from the landmark agreement last year, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the U.S. escalation of sanctions “unacceptable”.

“We exercise maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) last May,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, at the start of their meeting in Tokyo. JCPOA is commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran since he withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers under which Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment capacity, and won sanctions relief in return.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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