Foreign Ministry: Iran’s next step to reduce nuclear commitments to be ‘more decisive’

September 2, 2019

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that Iran is ready to take next step in reducing nuclear commitments more decisively.

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 nuclear 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.

“The third step has been devised and will be more decisive than the first and second steps,” Mousavi said. 

However, he said, Iran will not take the third step if talks with the Europeans reach a result and they fulfil their commitments under the JCPOA.

“If the situation is favorable, Iran may even revise the first and second steps and return to situation of the past several months and meet its commitments fully,” the spokesman remarked.

U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in May 2018 and returned the previous sanctions and imposed new ones.

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.

In an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper published on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran 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.

In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron late on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said that terms of the nuclear deal 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 nuclear commitments if Europe fails to fulfill its obligations.

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

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

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

NA/PA


 

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