Iran using all resources to sell oil in 'grey market' - deputy minister

Brother of Iran's President Rouhani sentenced for graft

The Isna and Tasnim agencies reported on Monday that the date was chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 pact.

President Hassan Rouhani planned to announce that Iran would reduce some of its "minor and general" commitments under the deal on Wednesday, exactly a year after Trump announced the United States pullout, said a source close to a commission that oversees the nuke deal.

But under the Trump administration, the US exited the deal and revived sanctions, including an embargo against Iran's economically important oil sector.

Iran's initial step in taking reciprocal measures would be reducing some parts of its commitments under the JCPOA as well as restarting some of its nuclear activities halted due to the deal, he said. European officials have unofficially been notified of the decision, according to media reports in Iran.

Trump, who was not in office when the nuclear deal was negotiated, said it was flawed in Iran's favour for doing nothing to curb its ballistic missile programme or its support of proxy forces in several Middle East wars.

Iran was to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on global markets in return for natural uranium.

Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani on May 4 said Iran will continue to enrich uranium in accordance with the accord regardless of US moves to put a stop to it.

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Under the 2015 accord, Iran restricted the capacity of its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a lifting of most worldwide sanctions.

Under the terms, Iran is allowed to keep 300 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 3.67 percent - far below the level needed to build nuclear weapons.

United Nations nuclear inspectors have repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the accord.

The other signatories - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - remain committed to it.

Ironically, the evidence-free claim comes as the United States steered a carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf to "send a message" to Tehran - not exactly an olive branch gesture in itself.

"It is absolutely the case that we have seen escalatory actions from the Iranians and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests", Pompeo told reporters aboard a flight to Finland.

Friday's move, which Rouhani made no direct reference to, was the third punitive USA action taken against Iran in as many weeks.

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