Iran seeks to preserve nuclear deal: Kharrazi

May 14, 2019

TEHRAN - Kamal Kharrazi, chief of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, has said that Iran seeks to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In an interview with Le Monde published on Monday, he said the objective behind Iran’s partial withdrawal from the JCPOA is survival of the deal.

“We believe that the European countries have not kept their promises, and we give them two months to do it,” he said.

Kharrazi, who was foreign minister from 1997-2005 under President Mohammad Khatami, noted that Iran’s action does not violate the nuclear deal.

He said that two months is enough for Europe to start first transactions through INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges).

On May 8, Iran officially announced that it stops selling stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water for 60 days. However, Iran warned if a conclusion is not reached in this time period, it will take other measures step by step and will accelerate its uranium enrichment activities.

Under the JCPOA, Iran’s stockpile of low enriched uranium is capped at 300kg and heavy water reserve 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,” President Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting on May 8.

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 President Donald 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.

On January 31, France, Germany and Britain announced the creation of INSTEX, a special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran. 

NA/PA

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