Iran warns to take ‘firm, decisive and proportional response’ if E3 takes unconstructive steps

January 14, 2020 - 20:5

TEHRAN - The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, in a statement on Tuesday, reacted to a decision by the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal to activate the “trigger mechanism”, noting that the move will not serve nobody’s interests.

“I have to mention that the three European nations (Britain, France and Germany) have taken a passive measure from a weak position,” Abbas Mousavi said.

“Iran, as always, is prepared to deal with any constructive effort to save the important international agreement,” he said, adding that his country will take “firm, decisive and proportional response” to any unconstructive moves. 

France, Germany and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement on Tuesday, three parties to the JCPOA, announcing they have formally triggered the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal.

According to Reuters, they said they still want the deal to succeed and were not joining a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran by the United States, which abandoned the deal in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions.

Triggering the dispute mechanism could lead eventually to the re-imposition of UN sanctions that were lifted under the agreement. 

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history 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 the termination of economic and financial sanctions.

So far Britain, France, Germany have only paid lip service for the agreement and done nothing concrete to protect Iran’s economy from 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.

Iran’s moves are based on 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.”

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 fourth 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).

In its fifth and final step on January 5, Iran suspended all limits under the JCPOA.


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