Iran will go ahead with the JCPOA deadline, MP says

May 12, 2019

TEHRAN - Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said on Sunday that Iran will go ahead with its 60-day deadline that the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, (officially called JCPOA) to offset U.S. sanctions or Tehran will take next steps.

“The Europeans are worried that the Iranians will end their cooperative approach. However, this issue does not affect Iran’s strategy and Iran will meet its deadline,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told reporters on the sidelines of an open session of parliament.

As a retaliation against the U.S. pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions coupled with a failure by the European Union to offset sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) officially announced on May 8 that Iran stops selling stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water for 60 days from May 8.

Iran stated it would no longer observe limits for its stockpile of low enriched uranium (currently capped at 300kg under the JCPOA) and heavy water reserve (capped at 130 tons).
 
“This announcement is for 60 days. We have announced to the other side, the five countries [Germany, France, UK, Russia and China], that if they come to the negotiating table in 60 days and we reach a conclusion and safeguard our main interests which are oil [sale] and banking relations, we will return to the previous situation of May 7, 2019,” Rouhani told a cabinet meeting on May 8.

However, he warned, if a conclusion is not reached, Iran will accelerate its uranium enrichment activities and will not follow obligations under the JCPOA according to which the purity level of its uranium enrichment should not exceed 3.67 percent.

Under the JCPOA, endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran was tasked to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA, the European countries cut banking ties with Iran, stopped purchasing Iranian oil, annulled agreements, and their companies left Iran one after another.

Even when the oil sanctions were introduced against Iran first in November 2018, which exempted certain countries, including Greece and Italy, these two EU members refused to buy oil from Iran. However, certain other countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey continued to buy oil from Iran under sanctions waivers.

‘There will be no war with U.S.’

Falahatpisheh also said that a “strategic analysis” and the U.S. behavior show that Washington does not seek war with Iran.

“Analysis of the U.S. behavior shows that it does not seek war and their acts are just psychological warfare,” he commented.

In an interview with ISNA published on Saturday, Falahatpisheh said that U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to prevent formation of “military language” between Tehran and Washington, because he has no military strategy against Iran.

“Trump’s strategy against Iran has been economic. He had imagined that he could bring Iran to the negotiating table through sanctions,” he said.

According to Al Jazeera, the U.S. has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defense battery and another warship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran.

The USS Arlington, which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, and rotary aircraft, as well as the Patriot missiles, will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, which already passed through Egypt's Suez Canal on Thursday, and is currently sailing in the Red Sea, according to CNN.

The U.S. says the deployments of military hardware to the region comes in response to what it claimed "heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations".

The Patriot missile system is currently deployed in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"The Acting Secretary of Defense has approved the movement of USS Arlington (LPD-24) and a Patriot battery to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of the command's original request for forces from earlier this week," a Pentagon statement said.

NA/PA

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