The Latest: Diplomat warns European signatories of nuke deal

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on the crisis over the embattled nuclear deal between Iran and world powers (all times local):

8 p.m.

The semi-official Mehr news agency is reporting that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has sent a warning to European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal.

He says Friday the signatories should not underestimate Iran’s will to implement a step-by-step reduction of its commitments to the deal. The report said Araghchi made the remarks in a Thursday meeting in Tehran with Britain’s Director General for Political Affairs Richard Moore.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that signatories to the deal have two months to come up with a plan to shield his country — already laboring under economic hardship — from the sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump.

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According to Mehr, Moore said the U.K. continues to support the deal and will work to fulfill Iran’s demands, including the activation of the financial mechanism designed to bypass U.S. sanctions, known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

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2:30 p.m.

A top commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard says Tehran won’t talk with the U.S., a day after President Donald Trump said he’d like Iranian leaders to “call me.”

Friday’s report by the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Yadollah Javani as saying that “there will be no negotiations with America.”

Javani also claimed the U.S. would not dare take military action against Iran.

Trump told reporters on Thursday at the White House: “What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me.”

The U.S. has moved a bomber squadron and sent USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf in response to unspecified threats by Iran. And on Wednesday, Iran threatened to renew some nuclear enrichment that had been halted under the 2015 nuclear deal.

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8:40 a.m.

The B-52 bombers ordered by the White House to deploy to the Persian Gulf to counter unspecified threats from Iran are beginning to arrive at a major American air base in Qatar.

Images released by the U.S. Air Force show B-52H Stratofortress bombers arriving at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Thursday. Others landed at an undisclosed location Wednesday.

The Air Force identified the aircraft as coming from the 20th Bomb Squadron of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

On Sunday, the White House announced it would send the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and the bombers to counter Tehran.

On Wednesday, Iran announced it would begin backing away from its nuclear deal with world powers, a year after President Donald Trump pulled America from the accord.

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