France, Germany and Britain on Sunday voiced concern about the deterioration of security in the Persian Gulf and escalation of tensions amid Iran’s nuclear activities.
In a joint statement released by the French president’s office, the three countries said they were worried by the "risk that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement."
Referring to a previous statement by Tehran that it was willing to remain in the agreement, they urged Iran to reverse its recent decision to surpass the uranium enrichment limits stipulated by the nuclear agreement -- also known as the JCPOA -- and return to full compliance with the agreement.
Additionally, the European nations expressed their concern on recent attacks "in the Persian Gulf and beyond, and by the deterioration of the security in the region," it noted.
"We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue," the statement said.
It added: "The risks are such that it is necessary for all stakeholders to pause and consider the possible consequences of their actions."
Iran confirmed Monday it had breached the 3.67% limit of uranium enrichment set by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to destroy its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%.
Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the deal.
The U.S. has since embarked on a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing".
As part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which have tanked the Iranian economy.
In June, tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated after two oil tankers were attacked at the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. held Iran responsible for the attacks and also accused them of destroying navigation devices in waters, both accusations denied by Iran.
Days later, Iran shot down a U.S. drone, claiming it had violated Iran's airspace. The U.S. claimed the drone had been over international waters.
By Faruk Zorlu