By staff and agency

‘Russia understands reason behind Iran’s nuclear steps’

July 7, 2019

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, said on Sunday that Moscow understands the reason behind Iran’s steps in reducing commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“We understand the steps taken [by Iran], the reasons that pushed the Iranians to take them. We call on Iran to refrain from further actions that could complicate the situation with the nuclear deal even more,” he told Sputnik.

Iran officially announced on Sunday it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the current 3.67%, as the Europeans missed a 60-day deadline by Tehran to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Ulyanov said Iran’s decision to increase uranium enrichment levels was not unexpected as Tehran is acting in a transparent manner.

It will be possible to determine by how much Iran had increased its uranium enrichment limit in a few days, he added, stressing that a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s uranium enrichment levels may be presented at a special session of the agency’s governing board on July 10.

“In any case, there is space to continue diplomatic efforts, they will be continued,” Ulyanov noted.

On May 8, Iran’s Supreme National Council (SNSC) declared Tehran’s exit from “certain” obligations under the landmark agreement and gave a 60-day deadline to the remaining JCPOA signatories to protect Iran’s interests against U.S. sanctions, or it will restart high-level uranium enrichment.

In a post on his Twitter page on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA. We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US #EconomicTerrorism. All such steps are reversible only through E3 compliance.”

Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA provided a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.

E3 includes the three European countries of Britain, France and Germany which are party to the JCPOA.

NA/PA

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