“We will continue to reduce our commitments to the nuclear deal until Europeans secure Iran's interests,” Araghchi insists

Iran’s Araghchi calls JCPOA emergency meeting 'constructive'

July 29, 2019 - 1:29

TEHRAN/VIENNA - An emergency meeting with parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, was "constructive", Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday. However, Araghchi warned Iran would continue to reduce its nuclear commitments if Europeans failed to salvage the pact.

"The atmosphere was constructive. Discussions were good. I cannot say that we resolved everything, I can say there are lots of commitments," the senior nuclear negotiator told Reuters.

Representatives of the parties to the deal met in Vienna on Sunday for emergency talks called in response to Tehran's reduction of commitments of the accord.

"As we have said, we will continue to reduce our commitments to the deal until Europeans secure Iran's interests under the deal," Araghchi said after the meeting.

Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran have been trying to salvage the pact since the U.S. withdrew from it in May 2018 and re-imposed and toughened sanctions on Iran.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions.

However, Europeans’ efforts to protect trade with Iran against the U.S. sanctions have yielded nothing concrete so far.

Earlier this month, Tehran followed through on its threat to increase its nuclear activities.

Iran says a reduction in its nuclear commitments is based on Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA.

(Paragraph 36 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.)

Iran has called on Europeans to accelerate their efforts to save the pact.

"All our steps taken so far are reversible if other parties to the deal fulfill their commitments," an Iranian diplomat told Reuters before the meeting was due to start.
In response to the sanctions, Iran said in May it would decrease its commitments under the nuclear pact.

So far, Iran has surpassed the limit of its enriched uranium stockpile as well as enriching uranium beyond a 3.67 percent purity limit set by the JCPOA.

Hours before Sunday's meeting, Araghchi said that "in the last month, there have been a lot of developments regarding the (deal) that made it necessary to have another round of the Joint Commission meeting urgently," IRNA reported.

 “Less-for-less approach”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the remaining parties must protect the nuclear deal from the “destructive” moves of the United States.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Should be protected from Washington’s destructive moves,” Ryabkov told reporters in Vienna.

He also said Iran is looking at further reduction of its commitments under JCPOA by September 4-5 as part of the less-for-less approach.
That Iran is getting back to the full and unconditional implementation of its commitments under the nuclear deal looks highly unrealistic at this point, Ryabkov stressed.

"Some participants (in the deal) think that Iran must get back to the implementation of its commitments in full without any additional reservations or conditions," he said. "But in the current situation, it looks absolutely unrealistic," TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying.

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