Iran may be gearing up to reduce nuclear coop. under JCPOA

TEHRAN, May 04 (MNA) – In the light of recent developments, Iran may be gearing up to reduce the level of its nuclear cooperation commitments under the JCPOA following the US’ re-imposition of sanctions and further restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), reached between Iran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, has been in shambles ever since Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement and re-imposed all the nuclear-related sanctions that had been removed under the deal.

Despite the US’ withdrawal since May 2018, Iran has remained committed to the deal as confirmed in all of the 14 reports issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The other sides to the deal have been trying to keep Iran interested in the agreement by proposing an alternative payment channel that would facilitate trade with Iran and bypass the US sanctions. The mechanism, known as INSTEX, has yet to become operational, and even then, many are skeptical about the effectiveness of the channel in safeguarding Iran’s economic interests.

Meanwhile, Trump has vowed to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero by ending sanctions waivers to eight of Iran’s biggest oil clients. His administration said in a statement on Friday that it has also imposed sanctions on Iran's export of enriched uranium at the same time as renewed three key waivers that will allow European allies, Russia and China to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on civil nuclear program.

In the light of US’ continued restrictions on Iran, the country may be gearing up to reduce the level of its nuclear commitments according to paragraphs 26 and 37 of the JCPOA; the measures would still fall within the framework of the agreement and would not be considered as a violation of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments and abandoning the JCPOA.  

Iran’s possible measures may include 3.67% uranium enrichment at Fordow enrichment facility; installation of IR2M and IR4 centrifuges at Natanz nuclear facility; production and storage of heavy water in quantities over 130 tons; unsealing the fuel tablets of Arak’s old reactor; and leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran has been implementing voluntarily.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said that Tehran is weighing various options, including leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in response to the US sanctions.

MS

News Code 144813

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