By staff and agency

Lavrov and Le Drian discuss nuclear deal

July 23, 2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian held a phone conversation on Tuesday discussing the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Le Drian agreed to continue taking concrete steps towards preserving the JCPOA and reducing tensions around Iran,” reads a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

France, Germany, and the UK, the three European parties to the JCPOA, issued a statement on July 14 reiterating their support for the deal.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrew from the multi-nation nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects. 

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Behrooz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on July 16 that for the time being, Iran will not pass uranium enrichment above 4.5 percent purity.

On July 16, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “As stated by our foreign minister, who works hard, Europe has had eleven commitments, none of which it has met. The foreign minister, despite his diplomatic considerations, is clearly stating that. But what did we do? We acted based on our commitments, and even beyond that.”

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that Iran continued to stay committed to the JCPOA despite the fact that the Europeans violated the international agreement and yet demanded Iran to keep its promises.

“Now that we have started to reduce our commitments, they step forward. They are very insolent, and they have not abided by their eleven commitments. We have just started to reduce some of our commitments, and this process will surely continue,” the Leader asserted.

In an interview with ISNA published on Friday, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said that Iran is working with Russia and China on the JCPOA.

NA/PA

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