It’s illogical that we comply with nuclear pact but you remain onlooker, Rouhani tells the West  

President says U.S. sanctions unable to bring Iranians to their knees 

November 11, 2019 - 15:22

TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani laid emphasis on Monday on inefficiency of pressures on independent nations, reiterating that U.S.-imposed sanctions will never bring the proud Iranians to their knees. 

Addressing a large crowd of people in the central city of Rafsanjan in Kerman province, the president said, “We will hang on against enemies with the entire might to defend our (Islamic) establishment.”

Under the 2015 nuclear accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history against Iran. So far, the European Union trio – Germany, France, and Britain - which are signatory to the pact and the EU in large have not done anything tangible to shield Iran from sanctions. 

Rouhani further said that Iran will not obey orders.

“They (the West) opposed us when we (re)activated the Arak heavy water site; in response, we now tell them whenever you fulfil your obligations (under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) we will do the same. This is not logical that we comply with the pact’s undertakings and you remain onlooker.”

“That sir at the White House is shouting that the U.S. got screwed over in the JCPOA (nuclear pact). Did not you have any government, minister or lawyer (to warn you)?” the president asked.

Addressing a forum in Tehran in August, Rouhani said Iran had kept the road to diplomacy open to resolve the differences with the West, but reiterated that resistance against pressure is on agenda.

"We resist against sanctions, and take reciprocal moves as well; yet we also see an opportunity for negotiations and diplomacy too and leave open the path for resolving problems by 2-month intervals between the phases of modifying our (nuclear deal) undertakings," he said at the time.

On May 8, Iran decided to partially reduce its commitments to the JCPOA exactly one year after the U.S. violated the nuclear deal. At the time Iran gave the Europeans two-month time to either fulfill their commitments in accordance with the JCPOA or Iran will take the next steps. However, six months have passed since that date and the EU has not done anything so far.   

In the first move, Iran removed cap on its nuclear fuel stockpile limited to 300 kilograms. In later steps Iran started enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent agreed under the JCPOA; removed cap on its nuclear research and development; and lately, on November 7, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) started to inject uranium gas into IR-6 centrifuge machines at the Fordow nuclear plant.
  
Iran has insisted if the remaining sides take steps to honor their obligations it will reverse its decision.

Abbas Araqchi, a top nuclear negotiator who acts as deputy foreign minister for political affairs, told reporters in Moscow that if Europe wants Iran to revise its nuclear decision, oil and financial sanctions against Iran must be lifted.

European Union foreign ministers on Monday debated ways to keep the JCPOA intact after Iran began enrichment work at its Fordo site in a fresh act of defiance that seems likely to spell the end of the painstakingly crafted international agreement.

At talks in Brussels, the EU trio were expected to signal what action should be taken as the bloc awaits a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency later Monday on whether Iran is still complying with its commitments.

"We want to preserve the (deal), but Iran must finally return to its commitments and comply with them, otherwise we will reserve the right to use all mechanisms that are set out in the agreement," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the New  York Times reported.


MJ/PA
 

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