Mousavi says if the remaining parties to the nuclear deal, especially Europeans, fail to fulfil their obligations, Iran will take a “stronger third step” after 60 days

Iran says will not breach JCPOA unless ‘bizarre actions’ are taken

July 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran will not take any measure against the 2015 nuclear agreement unless the other parties to the deal take peculiar, unexpected actions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

“Iran’s next step is also under the legal framework and under the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, unless certain countries in the meantime take peculiar, unexpected measures, after which the third step would not be taken and we’ll take a fundamental step instead,” Mousavi said during a press conference in Tehran. 

Iran officially announced on Sunday, July 7, that it is starting to enrich uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, as the Europeans missed a two-month deadline to devise a concrete economic and financial mechanism to protect Iran from the harsh U.S. sanctions.

On Monday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told ISNA that Iran’s degree of enrichment has reached 4.5 percent which is enough to power nuclear plants.

The step taken by Iran on Sunday was the second of its kind. In the first step on May 8, Iran announced that it will not sell its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent.

Mousavi said if the other remaining parties to the nuclear deal, especially Europeans, fail to fulfil their obligations, Iran will take a “stronger third step” after 60 days.

Kamalvandi also said on Sunday that Iran’s third step includes installing more centrifuge machines, reinstalling IR-2 and IR-3m centrifuges and enriching uranium to 20 percent.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran’s second step was consistent with paragraph 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, the official name for the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“Iran is entitled to react to Europe’s inaction and such reaction has been rational, legal and under the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA,” he reiterated.

If now they are concerned, the spokesman continued, they should have been more so when the U.S. decided to withdraw from the deal or when they failed to honor their obligations.

Asked about an upcoming visit to Tehran by the French president’s top diplomatic advisor, Mousavi said, “We do not attach any hope and trust to any country, but the door to diplomacy is open. We are still listening.”

The French president’s advisor, Emmanuel Bonne, had traveled to Iran on June 19 to hold high-level talks with the objective of contributing to a de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf.

President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, held a phone conversation on Saturday, during which Rouhani told the French leader that if all U.S. sanctions are lifted, it could open the way for negotiations.

“Halting all sanctions can be the start of new movement between Iran and 5+1”, Rouhani said, referring to the signatories of the nuclear agreement.

A statement from French presidency also said Macron had expressed his deep concern to Rouhani over any further weakening of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The statement said the two presidents had agreed "to explore by July 15 the conditions for the resumption of dialogue between all parties."

MH/PA

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