Iran to take next nuclear step if Borrell visit proves unfruitful: top MP

February 3, 2020 - 20:28

TEHRAN — Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee warned on Monday that Iran will take the next nuclear step if the visit by new High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell to Tehran fails to satisfy the Islamic Republic.

“If the European envoy wants to just kill time and take concessions from us, certainly, we will not surrender to Europe’s illegitimate demands,” Mojtaba Zonnour said in an interview with the YJC, according to Fars.

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally 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” strategy against Iran.

In response to this move, on May 8, 2019, Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. At the time Iran announced if the European parties to the deal take concrete steps to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decision.

However, seeing no action by the Europeans, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step by removing all limits on its nuclear activities.

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.”

Despite taking the last step, Iran has reminded the Europeans to fulfill their commitments in order to keep the deal alive.

“We cannot remain committed to the nuclear deal commitments alone and if the visit by the EU foreign policy chief fails to produce results, we will certainly take the 6th step to reduce our nuclear deal commitments,” Zonnour said.

Zonnour did not clarify what the 6th step would be.

On January 5, Iran announced that it is taking the last and final step to stop its commitments to the JCPOA.

Under the JCPOA signed in July 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the European Union, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.

Zonnour also voiced pessimism over the three European countries’ resolve to pay the price of saving the JCPOA.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday that Washington has imposed sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and its chief, Ali Akbar Salehi.

Iran says it will advance its nuclear program with more determination, describing as “worthless” and “ineffective” the recent U.S. sanctions.

“The Americans attempt to create a psychological atmosphere, but in reality, they will not achieve any success,” Behrooz Kamalvandi said on Sunday.

MH/PA

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