‘Exiting JCPOA would punish Washington’

November 16, 2019 - 17:5

TEHRAN – Abbasali Kadkhodaei, the spokesman for the Guardian Council, says pulling out of the 2015 nuclear pact would “punish” the United States.

In an interview with The Associated Press on November 14, Kadkhodaei said the Islamic Republic should stop honoring all terms of the collapsing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers amid tensions with the United States.

“I think those who disrupted the game should be punished since they damaged other parties’ interests,” he asserted.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord, officially known as the JCPOA, in May 2018, and imposed economic and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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 four 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. In the third step, which fell on September 6, Iran removed ban on nuclear research and development (R&D). And in the fourth step on November 6, Iran started to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear facility.

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.

Kadkhodaei said Iran should no longer honor its commitments in the deal, calling it “very natural, logical and based on the agreement’s framework.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown a lot of patience so far and it remained in the framework of its commitments,” he said. “In recent months, it has taken some actions in direction of vindication of its rights.”

MH/PA

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