By staff and agency

EU to consult with nuclear deal partners as Iran warns of new steps

July 5, 2019 - 20:28

The European Union has said it’s in contact with the remaining signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to discuss Iran’s decision to reduce its commitments under the deal.

“We’ve called on Iran to reverse these steps and to refrain from further measures that would undermine the nuclear agreement,” AP quoted a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as saying on Thursday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday Tehran will get past a 3.67% uranium enrichment level set by the nuclear deal on July 7 as a retaliatory measure to U.S. ditching of the agreement.

“We will discard that commitment. We will go beyond 3.67% as much as we want and as much as we need to,” he said during a cabinet meeting.

However, Rouhani said all the Iranian measures are “reversible” if the remaining parties live up to their obligations under the JCPOA.

Iran announced on June 30 that its stockpile of the enriched uranium has reached beyond the 300 kilograms allowed under the agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors Iran’s nuclear program under the deal, confirmed in Vienna that the stockpile had surpassed the limit.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that Iran’s low-grade enriched uranium stockpile has exceeded 300 kg. Zarif said Iran was exercising its right based on the mechanism included in the JCPOA in response to the U.S. exit from the agreement and reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

“We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,” said the joint statement signed by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the three countries’ foreign ministers – France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany’s Heiko Maas and Britain’s Jeremy Hunt.

In response, Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran will be committed to the nuclear agreement as long as the European side honors its commitments.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

“Iran is committed to the full implementation of the #JCPOA: as long as E3/EU implement THEIR economic commitments,” Zarif twitted.

E3 refers to France, Germany and Britain.

On May 8, Iran announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the nuclear pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities as long as sanctions are in place. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. The deadline falls on July 7.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and ordered sanctions on Tehran. Trump has even introduced full ban on Iran’s oil export, a move which has been described as an economic war against Tehran.


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