Rouhani to announce details of fourth step in reducing nuclear commitments

November 4, 2019

TEHRAN - Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani will announce details of Iran’s fourth step in reducing its nuclear commitments in response to the annulment of the 2015 nuclear agreement and return of sanctions by the United States coupled with inaction by the European Union to protect Iran from sanctions.

Under the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran agreed to put curbs on its nuclear work in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

Iran continued to fully adhere to the agreement even one year after the U.S. quit the deal with the hope that the remaining parties would offset sanctions. 
 
“Based on our commitments, we practiced strategic patience and gave the Europeans opportunities. The United States’ policy of bullying and lack of resistance by the Europeans led us here,” Rabiei said in a press conference.

He also noted that the U.S. sanctions are "modern capitulation" and the Iranian people from various walks of life will resist the U.S. cruel sanctions.

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

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 Iran 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.

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

Mahmoud Vaezi, the presidential chief of staff, told reporters on October 23 that Iran will take fourth step to reduce commitments under the JCPOA if no concrete action is taken by the remaining parties to protect Iran from the U.S. sanctions.

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Rabiei also said that the U.S. pressure should not cause division among the neighbors. 

“There are problems in the areas of economy and custom among the regional countries, however, the United States’ pressure should not cause division among the neighbors who have lived together for years (centuries) and have cultural and religious commonalities,” he said.

He noted that collective cooperation is required to establish peace in the region.

“The government has always said it seeks peace and stability in the region which was basis of the president’s letter to kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain,” he said.

NA/PA

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