Jul 7, 2019, 8:37 PM
Journalist ID: 1853
News Code: 83385716
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Tehran's second step to balance nuclear deal

Tehran, July 7, IRNA – Violation of the commitments on the part of the signatories of 2015 nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), forced Iran, as the only committed party, to take the second step on the path of step-by-step adherence to the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic will increase its enriched uranium concentration beyond 3.67 percent as of July 7 based on its need, according to its previous promise.

Iran's 60-day moratorium to the European troika, China, Russia, and even the United States about fulfilling their obligations has come to an end today, and Iran's new decision has been communicated to the world.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi along with Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei and Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi at a joint press conference on Sunday declared Iran's decision to increase the concentration of enriched uranium, outlining the scope of this decision and the upcoming plan of Tehran.

Araghchi, the main negotiator in the nuclear talks, noted, "Today we are at 60th day of our first step to reduce our commitment to the JCPOA, and since our demands in the JCPOA have not been fulfilled, we will take the second step," explaining the reasons for Iran's action.

Rabiei also referred to the beginning of the increase in the concentration of enriched uranium by Iran, saying, "Today, we crossed the 3.67 percent enriched uranium, and the concentration will be based on our needs."

Kamalvandi also explained the technical aspects of the implementation of Tehran's second step and reiterated that the copy of changes that are being made today are presented to the IAEA representative, and that technical issues will be completed in the coming hours and the enrichment process beyond 3.67 percent will start. "We also consider the next steps. For example, we do not currently have the need for Tehran reactor fuel, but in the future it can be put in the form of a planning."

Hours after the trilateral news conference, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a Twitter message emphasizing Iran's reduction of commitments within the framework of the JCPOA, "Today, Iran took its second step under article 36. We reserve our legal rights to defend our interests in the face of the US economic terrorism. All these steps can only be reversed by pursuing the commitments by three European countries. The three European countries do not have any pretext for not adopting a fair political stance to maintain the JCPOA and confronting the United States’ unilateralism."

Hesameddin Ashna, head of the Center for Strategic Studies and Advisor to the President, in a Twitter message pointed to the constant criticism of the JCPOA inside the country, and wrote, "Those who made allegations yesterday and screamed that "the government has vanished all the nuclear power of the country where are they today to see how Iran can recover its enrichment capacity and heavy water production at high speed and quality".

The French president was the first European official to respond to the second step to Iran's reduction of commitments. Emmanuel Macron last night in a telephone conversation with President Rouhani acknowledged the weakness and disability of Europe to secure Iran's interests. According to a press release about the call, there was plan to hold consultations in the next nine days to uphold the nuclear deal.

However, Iran today took the second step and, at the same time, our country's diplomats once again stated that these actions would be reversible, and that when Europe fulfilled its obligations, Iran would come back. However, Emmanuel Macron 's office condemned Iran's move to increase uranium enrichment levels, while declaring that "the trigger mechanism is not operational".

The European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also called it as undermining the JCPOA in response to a new Iranian initiative, and announced it is likely that the Joint Commission of JCPOA’s meeting would be held, which was also mentioned at today's press conference. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Iran's move to increase its enrichment level as "a very dangerous step", and called on three countries, Britain, France and Germany to return to Iran's sanctions regime automatically.

A few minutes after the announcement of Iran's decision, internal and external reactions to the increase in uranium concentrations were at the top of the news. A number of world news networks described Iran's decision as impotent, speculating on the future the JCPOA and the possibility of its disappearance.

A group of other media has claimed that Iran has violated the JCPOA. Also, a few hours after Iran announced its intention to increase uranium concentrations, an IAEA spokeswoman said in an interview with the media that the agency had been informed of Iran's second phase.

Iran's move to reduce its commitment is influenced by several factors that officials of the diplomatic apparatus and government spokesman referred to more or less on today's summit. What is clear from the statements of Araghchi, Kamalvandi and Rabiei is that the US’ breaching the commitments and the lack of action by other parties have forced the Islamic Republic, after a year and two months, to reduce its obligations.

Indeed, the European parties, in fact, by failing to fulfill their obligations, in practice violated the JCPOA and should not be convinced that the breach means breach of the obligations that only Iran had accepted. Europeans had obligations that, apart from the words, have not taken practical important step to launch their commitment. However, despite all the shortcomings and difficulties that it faced, Tehran, however, fulfilled its commitments. However, hostile policies led Brussels's speech therapy not to yield necessary outcomes, and Tehran would take the second step to secure its interests.

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