World is responsible for implementing nuclear deal, Iran says

December 1, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday that the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, is an international agreement and the world is responsible for implementing it.

“The JCPOA is an international achievement and the countries in the world are responsible for respecting, implementing and preserving it,” he said during a joint press conference with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu in Beijing.

On Iran’s decision to reduce JCPOA commitments, Araghchi said that the move is within the framework of the agreement.

Iran has started to partially 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 with 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 started on November 6, Iran began 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).

Chinese official urges Europe to implement INSTEX

Ma, for his part, urged Europe to implement the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX).

He noted that multilateralism and rule of law are required to preserve the JCPOA.

INSTEX has been designed by the European Union to facilitate legitimate trade with Tehran. It was introduced on January 31 by France, Germany, and Britain, the three countries party to the nuclear deal.

It was introduced long after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran and threatened to punish any country or company that does business with Iran.

INSTEX is supposed to be a financial channel and a special mechanism for transferring money in spite of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Its objective is to facilitate Iran’s transactions with European companies without using the dollar.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden issued a joint statement on Friday announcing becoming shareholders of INSTEX.

NA/PA

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