Russia expresses concerns over Europe’s failure to fulfill commitments to nuclear deal

November 10, 2019

TEHRAN - Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has expressed concerns over Europe’s failure to fulfill commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In an interview with a Russian news website, she said that the European signatories to the nuclear deal are incapable of safeguarding Iran’s interests which is worrisome, IRNA reported on Sunday.

She also described the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA as an “illegal action”.

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 said its “strategic patience” is over and 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. 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).

Also, President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to start injecting uranium gas into advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility as the fourth step to reduce nuclear commitments.

Mahmoud Vaezi, Rouhani’s chief of staff, said on Thursday that scaling down commitments does not mean that Iran is seeking to quit the nuclear deal.

“We are not after quitting the JCPOA, however, we will do anything to protect the Iranians’ dignity,” he said in a meeting with local officials in Bushehr Province.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that Iran is ready to return to the pre-modification of the nuclear deal’s obligations if oil and banking sanctions on Tehran are lifted. 

Talking to reporters in Moscow, Araqchi said, “Our priorities are the removal of oil and banking sanctions on Iran.” 

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that Tehran has left the door open for dialogue on the full implementation of the JCPOA but it will never decide the nation’s fate based on foreigners’ promises and words.

“We have not relied on anybody. We have not relied on any promise or any word. We do our duty based on our natural mission,” Abbas Mousavi told a regular news briefing. 

NA/PA

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