Europeans legally not in a position to quit nuclear deal: Zarif

October 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the Europeans are not legally in a position to quit the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“From the legal point of view, they have no right to do so,” he told ICANA in an interview published on Sunday.

He said that the JCPOA is an international agreement that was approved by the United Nations. The chief diplomat added that the United States’ withdrawal from it was against international law.

Zarif also criticized the Europeans for failing to fulfill their commitments under the deal.

He also said that Iran has taken actions within the framework of the nuclear deal and will continue it.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear pact and imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic that were lifted under the agreement.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In the first stage, Iran announced that it will not limit its stockpile of the nuclear fuel to 300 kilograms allowed under the deal. However, on that date (May 8) Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA, especially Europeans, devise a mechanism to protect it from the sanctions effect in the two-month deadline it will reverse its decision. 

But since European parties missed the deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, thereby starting the second step.

As Europe missed the second 60-day deadline, Iran moved to take the third step, removing ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

In a letter on September 5, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif notified European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini about Iran’s third step.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran will continue to reduce commitments under the nuclear deal.

“Reducing nuclear commitments, for which the Atomic Energy Organization is responsible, should continue seriously and precisely as it was announced by the government till it reaches favorable result and it will definitely reach the result,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with the High Council of the Commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Leader also said the United States’ policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran has ended in failure.

“They imagined Iran would be forced to show flexibility if they applied policy of maximum pressure. With the help of God, they understand that the maximum pressure has caused problems for themselves,” the Leader stated.

NA/PA

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