Jul 1, 2019, 11:25 PM
Journalist ID: 2078
News Code: 83377498
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Russia blames US for Iran exceeding enriched uranium stockpile limit

Moscow, July 01, IRNA- A senior Russian diplomat says that US sanctions have provoked Iran's move to break the limit set on its uranium stockpiles, calling a natural result of the US provocative moves. 

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted on Monday that Iran had warned of its move in advance. 

He was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow. 

Ryabkov said the development is a "natural result" of the US' so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.

He added that Iran was facing "unprecedented and unthinkable" US sanctions, including an oil trade embargo, which are an attempt to "strangle" the country.

He urged all parties to "avoid escalation," saying that Iran's move "causes regret, but shouldn't be overdramatized."

“We known that some of the parties in the deal have a negative view of Tehran’s moves and it was discussed at the JCPOA commission in full. Iran doesn’t see the expected dividends of the committing to the deal to have good, logical reasons to continue this,” said the Russian official. 

Ryabkov stressed that Iran has shown restraint and “strategic patience”, but they have been committed to its obligations and 14 IAEA reports show this. 

Earlier, Permanent Representative of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov called Iran’s move a “deviation from voluntary commitment under JCPOA”. However, he rejected that it was a “a violation of NPT or development of nuclear weapons”. 

“Iran’s stockpiles of low-enriched uranium (LEU) exceeded 300 kg. This is a deviation from voluntary commitment under #JCPOA, but has nothing to do with a violation of NPT or development of nuclear weapons. Ironically this is a result of the US decision to sanction removal of LEU from Iran,” he tweeted on Monday. 

The US imposed sanctions on the export of Iran’s LEU a few months ago, targeting countries that used to buy the excess of the material from Iran. 

Also earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that Tehran had exceeded the cap. 

“We told the Europeans right after the JCPOA commission that their efforts aren’t enough that Iran will implement its programme as announced before,” Zarif told reporters on Monday. 

On May 8, the exact anniversary of the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran gave Europe 60 days to either normalise its trade ties with Iran or Tehran will reduce its voluntary commitments within the nuclear deal. 

“The first plan was about the enriched uranium stockpiles as well as the heavy water. The second phase will be about the 3.67% enrichment ceiling,” he warned as the deadline is getting close next week. 

The Iranian official however reiterated the Iran will go back to the normal situation should Europe fulfill its obligations.


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