Araqchi: Iran to continue reducing nuclear commitments until its benefits are met

November 19, 2019 - 16:4

TEHRAN - Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Monday that Iran will continue reducing commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, until its benefits are met.

During a meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok in The Hague, Araghchi criticized the Europeans for inaction in fulfilling their obligations under the multilateral agreement.

He noted that Europe must pay the price if it seeks to preserve the nuclear deal.

For his part, Blok said that it is essential to keep the JCPOA.

Iran has started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA in response to the United States which abandoned the landmark deal in May 2018 and reinstituted sanctions.

So far, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has taken four steps to cut back commitments in accordance to paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran announced that 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).

In the latest step, which was done on November 6, Iran started injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear site. It was done at the presence of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This happened again after the Europeans failed to take concrete step to save the JCPOA.

Iran has said lifting ban on its oil export and financial transactions are the main conditions to reverse its decision.

‘Security in Persian Gulf must be maintained by regional countries’

Araqchi also said that security in the Persian Gulf region must be maintained by the regional countries.

He added that Iran’s Hormuz peace initiative has been crafted in line with this purpose.

The Dutch foreign minister attached great importance to Iran’s role in maintaining security in the region.

At the United Nations summit in New York in late September, Iran officially unveiled a proposal for regional security, officially called the Hormuz Peace Endeavour (HOPE).

“Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope’, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavor,” President Hassan Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join Iran’s initiative for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

In a tweet in September, Zarif said the initiative entails “dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression, and non-intervention”.

In a post on his Twitter account on October 15, Zarif renewed Iran’s call to all countries bordering the Persian Gulf to join Tehran’s initiative to “forge a blueprint for peace, security, stability, and prosperity” in the region.

In an interview with Arabic RT aired on November 12, Araghchi said that the objective of Rouhani’s “Coalition for Hope” is non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on November 13 that the Hormuz peace initiative is based on commitment to common principles such as avoiding threats or use of force, settling crises peacefully, respecting the countries’ national sovereignty and also avoiding interference in other countries’ domestic affairs.


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