E3 withdrawal from nuclear deal 'unlikely': Zarif

TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that European countries’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is ‘unlikely’.

He made the remarks while speaking to IRNA on the sideline of his visit to Beijing on Tuesday.

Asked about Iran's next step to reduce Iran's commitments to the JCPOA, Zarif said that the Chinese and Russian partners are unanimous that US withdrawal from the JCPOA and its sabotage of cooperation of the other states parties to the JCPOA have put the JCPOA at jeopardy.

"Unfortunately, Europeans have not been able to take action independent of the United States over the past several years," he said.

Zarif highlighted the reversibility of Iran's reduced commitments, saying, "if we see any practical measure by EU to fulfill their commitments, we will be prepared to do so and gradually go back."

One year after US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced in May 2019 that it is reducing commitments to JCPOA in a transparent manner and according to Paragraphs 26 and 36 of the deal. Tehran has so far taken four steps, highlighting that all its measures are reversible as soon as other parties can shield its economy from damages of US unilateral sanctions. 

Meanwhile, the three European parties to the nuclear deal have reportedly said they are likely to trigger a dispute resolution process in January but would stop short of rushing to restore UN sanctions on Iran that would kill off the accord.

Six European and Western diplomats said Britain, France and Germany had agreed in principle to begin the process but they would still wait to see how significant Iran's steps were before taking a final decision, according to a report by Reuters. The measure is also known as the trigger mechanism and its activation can lead to the return of the UN sanctions against Iran.

 “Iranian and foreign experts have all confirmed that the measures Iran has taken in the four steps of its reduction in commitments to the JCPOA did not run counter to any international conventions,” Iranian President's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi said on Dec. 25, adding, “the Europeans’ claim has no legal basis."

MNA/IRN83615000

News Code 153944

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