Iran says still honoring nuclear deal

January 14, 2019

TEHRAN – Tehran says its move to design a modern process for 20-percent uranium enrichment does not run against its compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the JCPOA in its English abbreviation and BARJAM in Persian.

“We have been committed to BARJAM so far and we have shown to the world that we are fulfilling our obligations under the deal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday at his bi-weekly press conference.

He was commenting on remarks by Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), who announced on Sunday that Iran has begun preliminary activities for designing modern nuclear fuel with purity of 20 percent.

“However, how we will decide in the future depends on the role and performance of the other parties to BARJAM,” Qassemi remarked.

The spokesman further said the Foreign Ministry is closely monitoring the developments surrounding the JCPOA, and that any decision about the international pact will be made by the JCPOA Monitoring Board, a committee inside the Supreme National Security Council whose members are appointed by the Leader.

On the prospects of the special purpose vehicle (SPV), a mechanism aimed at facilitating trade with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions, Qassemi said the European Union (EU) lacks the structures needed to establish the mechanism.

He said although the EU is willing to finalize the SPV, there has been too much delay and the EU is under considerable pressure from the United States.

“The U.S. is trying to prevent this type of cooperation from being materialized through any means,” he remarked.

On May 8, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA and ordered the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, despite strong opposition from the other signatories to the deal – namely Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

Under Trump, the U.S. has been pursuing the strategy of applying maximum pressure on Iran. The latest example of such pressure was seen on Friday, when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Poland and the United States are jointly organizing the global conference in Warsaw on February 13-14, with the aim of curbing Iran's influence in the region.

While deploring the move, Qassemi said the U.S. is trying to harm Iran’s relations with other countries. 

He also criticized the Polish government’s decision to host the conference.

“We will not let others move in the direction of destroying Iran’s image on false pretexts,” he said. 

The Foreign Ministry has taken and will take appropriate measures in the face of “wrong”, “improper” and maybe “hostile” actions of any country within the framework of maintaining the status of the Iranian people, the spokesman added.

MH/PA

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