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European powers call for meeting on Iran nuclear deal

PARIS — European parties to a nuclear deal with Iran say they have “deep concern” that Iran has begun enriching uranium to a higher purity than allowed under the agreement and are calling for an urgent meeting of all involved in the accord.

In a joint statement Tuesday by Germany, Britain, France and the European Union, the group expressed “deep concern that Iran is not meeting several of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” or JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is known.

Besides enriching uranium past the allowed 3.67% to 4.5%, the U.N. nuclear agency has also confirmed Iran has surpassed the stockpile limit on low-enriched uranium.

The Europeans say Iran has said it wants to remain in the JCPOA and “must act accordingly by reversing these activities and returning to full JCPOA compliance without delay.”

They say a meeting of the JCPOA commission, which also included Russia and China, “should be convened urgently” but didn’t specify when.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser is spending two days in Tehran as part of an urgent bid to deescalate rising tensions with Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

An Elysee Palace official said that adviser Emmanuel Bonne left for Tehran on Tuesday, seeking ways to restart dialogue. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked for anonymity.

Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed in a weekend conversation to set a July 15 deadline to solve the current impasse, and ultimately save the 2015 nuclear accord that the U.S. pulled out of last year.

Macron spoke with President Donald Trump on Monday — the day Iran began enriching uranium beyond the accord’s 3.67% limit, and after breaking the limit on stockpiles.

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