Former British official urges intl. community to keep nuclear deal

December 9, 2019 - 19:32

TEHRAN - Tobias Ellwood, the former British defense minister, has urged the international community to make more efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

He told IRNA in an interview published on Monday that the United States withdrawal from the deal caused harm to it.

He also described the U.S. policy of maximum pressure against Iran “unhelpful”.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Under the JCPOA, Iran promised to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

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).

Josep Borrell, the new EU foreign policy chief, has attached great importance to preserving the JCPOA, saying “collective responsibility” is needed to stop the deal from breaking apart.

NA/PA

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