London — Iran announced on Wednesday it was scaling back curbs to its nuclear programme, announcing steps that stop short of violating its 2015 deal with world powers for now, but threatening more action if countries did not shield it from US sanctions. Hours later, the US said it was not finished imposing sanctions on Iran and planned more "very soon". A year to the day after Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced changes that experts said seemed tailored to ensure Tehran avoids triggering the deal's mechanism to punish it for violations, at least for now. "For now, nothing changes, but this could be a ticking time bomb," a European diplomat said. The main new measure that takes effect now would have limited practical impact: a halt to sales of enriched uranium and heavy water to other countries. The deal allows such sales so Iran can keep reducing its stockpiles below maximum thresholds, but Washington already effectively barred the s...

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