Rouhani admin should have taken all JCPOA-related steps at once: top MP

September 2, 2019

TEHRAN – Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee criticized the Rouhani administration’s cautious approach with regard to reducing Tehran’s commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, saying the administration should have taken all the necessary measures in one step.

“I believe that the administration, instead of giving time to the other side, should have taken all the necessary measures in one step, but given the current administration in power, even [reaching] the fifth and sixth steps is imaginable,” Mojtaba Zonnour said, Mehr reported on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the UN-backed nuclear accord of JCPOA in May 2018. He reimposed the previous sanctions against the Islamic Republic and added new ones.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrawal, Tehran began reducing its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals.

So far, Iran has taken two steps in reducing its commitments: increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the 300 kilograms allowed under the JCPOA and enriching nuclear fuel to the purity level of 4.5 percent as the Europeans missed a 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Zonnour said Iran can further increase its stockpile of enriched uranium. “In the next step, we should restore the Arak reactor to its previous state,” he added.

He also said Iran’s next steps should be taken more decisively.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran would further reduce its commitments under the JCPOA if Europe does not abide by its obligations under the deal.

In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, Rouhani said Iran’s approach is to maintain the JCPOA, but criticized the Europeans for not taking any practical steps to live up to their commitments after the U.S. withdrawal.

He also stressed that the third step will be reversible like the two previous steps.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had announced that Iran would begin suspending more of its commitments on September 6.

He added that Iran would reconsider its upcoming decision if it reaches an agreement with Europe and the European side starts implementing it.

MH/PA

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