Iran to firmly take third nuclear step if EU fails again: FM spox

TEHRAN, Sep. 02 (MNA) – Iran has warned the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – that it will not hesitate to take the third step in reducing its commitments under the agreement if they once again fail to meet its demands.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Monday the diplomatic efforts to save the agreement are underway, however noting that “should the efforts bear no results and the European parties to the deal [the UK, France and Germany] fail to live up to their commitments, Tehran will take the third step in reducing its obligations under the deal more firmly."

The spokesman referred to the Islamic Republic’s active diplomacy in the past weeks regarding the issue, saying that parallel with the 60-day ultimatum to the Europeans for saving the deal, Iran has been preparing itself to take the third step if necessary, and it will not hesitate to do so.

However, he said if the European countries take proper action to live up to their own obligations, Iran may cancel its decision to take the third step.

Iran’s top officials have been busy in the past weeks holding talks with European countries as well as their regional and Asian partners to find ways to salvage the deal, which has been undermined since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in May 2018.

In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will further reduce its commitments under the JCPOA if Europe does not abide by its obligations under the deal.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited a number of regional, European and East Asian countries in the past two weeks to talk with the country’s partners to find a way to salvage the deal.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi will also depart Tehran for Paris later on Monday to hold talks with French officials regarding the issue.

Ever since announcing his departure from the deal, Trump has tried to block trade between Iranian and European companies by imposing sanctions that target a wide range of Iranian exports, including its crude oil.

The European signatories of the deal refused to follow Trump’s suit and said they would try to salvage the deal by protecting European businesses through a special payment channel, called INSTEX.

Months after unveiling the Europeans' solution to the sanctions, Iran has yet to reap any benefits from it.

Frustrated with Europe’s lack of action, Iran announced earlier this year that it would cut back on its JCPOA commitments using the mechanisms defined in the deal if its demands are not met after a 60-day ultimatum that started in May.

As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to beyond the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA. Next, it announced that it had begun enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.


News Code 149593


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