AThe sanctions were set to expire in October, according to a timetable set out in the now-defunct nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

In a joint statement, the three European allies known as the E3, who helped negotiate the nuclear deal, stressed that they will maintain their sanctions in a “direct response to Iran’s consistent and severe non-compliance” with the agreement.

The measures prohibit Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and prohibit anyone from buying, selling or transferring drones and missiles to and from Iran.

They also include freezing the assets of several Iranian individuals and entities involved in the nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Iran violated sanctions by developing and testing ballistic missiles and sending drones to Russia for the war launched by Moscow against Ukraine.

The sanctions will remain in force until Tehran “fully complies” with the agreement, the E3 stressed.

The Islamic Republic continues to depart from the commitments made under the 2015 agreement, in reaction to the unilateral withdrawal from the treaty by the United States in 2018, decided by former president Donald Trump.

Formal negotiations to try to find a program to restart the agreement failed in August 2022.

The E3 informed the head of European Union (EU) foreign policy, Josep Borrell, about its decision, the statement added.

Borrell, in turn, revealed that he forwarded the E3 letter to other signatories of the 2015 agreement — China, Russia and Iran.

This announcement comes at a delicate time for the United States, which is preparing to finalize a prisoner exchange with Iran that includes the unfreezing of Iranian assets frozen in South Korean banks worth $6 billion.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller highlighted in statements to journalists that Washington is in contact with European allies about “appropriate next steps”.

Iran has long denied seeking nuclear weapons and continues to insist that its program is entirely for peaceful purposes, although Rafael Grossi, leader of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, has warned that Tehran has uranium enriched enough for several nuclear weapons, should you decide to build them.

Read Also: More than 60 countries demand clarification on Iran’s nuclear program

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