The US has threatened Britain, France and Germany, vowing to impose a 25 percent tariff on European automobile imports if they fail to formally accuse Iran of violating a 2015 nuclear deal, according to the Washington Post.
The three nations triggered a dispute mechanism under the nuclear agreement on Tuesday, which is the strongest step they have taken so far to enforce the agreement that requires Iran to curb its nuclear programme.
The mechanism amounts to a formal accusation against Iran that it broke the terms of the deal.
It could also lead to the reinstatement of United Nations sanctions that were lifted under the accord.
They said that they made the move to avoid a crisis over nuclear proliferation being added to an escalating confrontation in the Middle East.
Iran has criticised that move, calling it a “strategic mistake.”
This latest threat by the US, in contrast, was intended to shift European foreign policy, according to the Washington Post.
It was not clear if the threat was necessary since the Europeans had signalled an intention to trigger the dispute mechanism for weeks, the newspaper reported.
Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – in 2018.
Iran has gradually rolled back its commitments under the agreement since the US pulled out of the deal.
Moreover, President Donald Trump had vowed that Tehran will never have a nuclear weapon under his watch.