Rouhani to Macron: Terms of nuclear deal unchangeable

September 1, 2019

TEHRAN - In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron late on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said that terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, are unchangeable.

“Terms of the JCPOA are unchangeable and all parties must be committed to its provisions,” Rouhani said.

He noted that Iran’s main approach is preserving the nuclear deal.

“Full implementation of the commitments by all sides and security of shipping in all waterways, especially the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, are Iran’s two main objectives in current talks,” he said.

He also said that the United States withdrew from the JCPOA to cause problems for Iran’s interaction with other countries.

“Unfortunately, the European countries have not taken practical actions in line with implementing their obligations after the United States’ unilateral action,” Rouhani lamented.

Rouhani noted that removal of all sanctions lays the grounds for future talks.

Elsewhere, he said that Iran will take the next step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA if Europe fails to implement its obligations.

However, he said that Iran’s action is reversible.

Rouhani said that France is expected to make efforts in line with implementing resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN Charter.

Macron pointed to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to France on August 25, saying the trip showed Iran’s efforts to meet its interests.

He noted that talks should be continued till a favorable result is reached.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the JCPOA, which was reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015.

Afterwards, Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the deal and ordered new ones.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrew from the multi-nation nuclear agreement, Iran 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.

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.

In an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper published on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country will begin suspending more of its commitments under the nuclear deal on September 6.

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.

NA/PA

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