By staff and agency

Macron says France is interested in de-escalation of crisis over Iran nuclear deal

August 21, 2019 - 1:9

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that France is interested in the de-escalation of the crisis over the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“France is interested in the de-escalation of the crisis over the Iran nuclear issue,” TASS quoted him as saying ahead of negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov said on Friday that Russia and France share the common tasks of preserving the nuclear deal.

“Let me note that Russia and France share the common tasks of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and preventing an escalation of tensions between Iran and the U.S. in the Persian Gulf and in general,” he told reporters on Friday, according to TASS.

Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the UN-endorsed JCPOA in May 2018 and imposed the toughest ever sanctions against Iran in line with his administration’s “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran.

The remaining parties, particularly the European sides, have so far failed to honor their commitments since the U.S. returned sanctions and imposed new ones.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the multi-nation nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran said its “strategic patience” is over and announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact. 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.

President Hassan Rouhani said on August 14 that Tehran will start the next step of reducing nuclear obligations after the second 60-day deadline.

The third step can include installation of more centrifuges, especially advanced ones.

Rouhani has described Iran’s moves in reducing nuclear commitments step by step as a “wise” decision.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Iran is mulling plans to take the next step of scaling down its nuclear commitments.

Under the JCPOA, Iran is allowed to possess 300 kilograms of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent. 

Nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced on August 13 that Iran’s stockpile of uranium has reached 370 kilograms.

Iran says its decision to reduce its commitments are in line with paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which has 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. 

Officials in Tehran have insisted if the remaining parties to the JCPOA compensate sanctions effects Iran will reverse its decision.


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