National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran
National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran iStock

Iran struck a softer tone regarding the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers on Thursday, with the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran saying the Islamic Republic wants to bring the deal “back on track”.

“Our goal is to strengthen the JCPOA (the acronym for the nuclear agreement) and bring it back on track,” said the spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, according to Reuters.

The comments come a day after Iran announced it would reduce some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, though it would not quit the deal completely.

Iran’s decision was criticized by France, which called on Iran to respect all its commitments as part of the deal.

“France takes note of these statements with concern. It is committed to ensuring that this agreement, key for the international non-proliferation regime and international security, is fully implemented,” said the Foreign Ministry in Paris.

The European Union also expressed concern over Iran’s decision, saying, “We remain fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all.”

“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPoA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps.”

The US, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Iran and said, “The Iranian regime’s announcement that it intends to expand its nuclear program defies international norms and is a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage.”