Top MP urges administration to take stronger fourth nuclear step

November 3, 2019

TEHRAN – A senior member of the parliament has urged the administration of President Hassan Rouhani to take its next step of scaling back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The fourth nuclear step should be taken more firmly in order to push the Europeans to fulfill their commitments to the deal,” Mehr quoted Mojtaba Zonnour as saying on Sunday.

Zonnour said he had suggested that the administration take all its retaliatory measures in a single step instead of giving the other side 60-day ultimatums.

This would have been a more effective approach to secure Iran’s interests from the deal, he stressed.

The top lawmaker also said Iran has many options to choose from in the fourth step, including installation of advanced centrifuges and increasing heavy water stockpile.

Washington withdrew from the internationally-endorsed nuclear deal with Iran on May 8, 2018, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran’s oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of economic and financial sanctions.

Following the U.S. withdrawal, Iran remained fully committed to the JCPOA for a year, but announced on the anniversary of Washington’s bellicose move that its “strategic patience” is over and would gradually reduce its commitments to the deal at 60-day intervals, which were designed as deadlines for Europe to protect Tehran’s interests under the deal.

So far, Iran has taken three steps in that regard.

In the first step, Iran removed cap on its nuclear deal stockpile which was limited to 300 kilograms enriched to purity of 3.67 percent. In the second step, which started in July 7, Iran started enriching nuclear fuel to more than 3.67 percent. And in the third step, which fell on September 6, Iran removed ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

Tehran has repeatedly said its measures will be revered as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral U.S. sanctions.

In remarks last month, Zonnour said Europe should pay the price if it wants to salvage the nuclear accord.

“Europe is capable to do this, but instead it takes steps in line with U.S. goals, and accordingly it does not have the necessary will to preserve Barjam (JCPOA),” he added.

MH/PA

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