Sep 6, 2019, 3:40 PM
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Iran’s third step and repeated reactions of Europeans

Tehran, Sept 6, IRNA - The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief announced Iran's third step in the framework of 2015 nuclear agreement and a further reduction of Tehran's commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi, in the letter addressing Federica Mogherini on Friday, Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that due to the consequences of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the re-imposition of the US sanctions and the inability of the three European countries to fulfill their obligations in the JCPOA and statements of the Joint Commissions, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease all its obligations in the JCPOA in the field of nuclear research and development.

Mousavi added that the letter emphasized that this measure is exactly in line with Iran's rights in the JCPOA, and particularly in accordance with its Article 36, and in response to widespread and continued violations of the JCPOA over the past 16 months. The technical and operational details of Iran's halting nuclear research and development commitments will subsequently be communicated to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zarif's letter emphasized that the Islamic Republic is ready to continue dialogue with all remaining parties to the JCPOA at all levels in order to demonstrate its goodwill, and any time that the other parties fulfill all their obligations, Tehran will return to full implementation of the JCPOA.

Prior to this development, President Rouhani on Wednesday ordered the implementation of the third step to start from Friday, and stressed that whatever the country needs in the field of nuclear technology research and development, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will do.

Rouhani further stressed that Iran's actions will be within the framework of the IAEA's regulations and, noting that there is still another 60-day deadline ahead for Europe, said whenever they return to their commitments, Iran will also return to its obligations.

The president noted that because of the Group 4 + 1's failure to meet their commitments after the US departure of the JCPOA, the path Iran chosen four months ago in regards to the nuclear deal has is now focusing on ways reduce the commitments as already announced.

The details of Iran's move have not yet been announced, but spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Saturday will give more details on Iran's next step.

The Islamic Republic has begun reducing some of its nuclear commitments since the US government announced its withdrawal from the nuclear deal on May 8, 2018 and returned all lifted sanctions against our country.

The US move, though met with international condemnation, in particular by other signatories, and they promised, alongside the European Union, to abide by the nuclear deal and even to launch mechanisms to allow Iran to trade with countries and companies, but these actions have failed to meet Tehran's demands, and Iran had begun to reduce part of its commitments in accordance with the JCPOA articles since May.

In the first and second steps, Iran has taken steps to cross enrichment of uranium limit of 3.6% and then increased the amount of enriched uranium stipulated in the nuclear deal, and has always emphasized that these steps can be reversed provided that the European side meet Iran's demands, in particular, the guarantee of oil sales and return of money, according to the foreign minister.

Now Iran has taken the third step, and this step has faced reactions, especially by European countries; repeated reactions as the past, in which they have not made any mention of their obligations under the JCPOA an nuclear agreement.

In a statement Thursday, the French Foreign Ministry called on Tehran to adhere to its commitments to the JCPOA agreement in view of Iran's announcement of taking third step.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnès Von Der Mühll told reporters that Iran must refrain from any action that violates its nuclear agreement obligations, which could disrupt the de-escalation efforts.

She added that Paris would discuss Iran's third step with its partners and with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Previously, France has proposed a plan for $15 billion credit line to Iran to compensate for the decline in oil sales due to US sanctions, which is in the process of being negotiated between the parties, particularly the American and French sides.

In response to the third step, the European Union also called on Iran to return to its commitments in the JCPOA.

We consider these activities to be incompatible with the JCPOA, European Commission spokesman Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela said. In this context, we call on Iran to scale this step back and refrain from further action that undermines the nuclear deal.

The British Foreign Ministry also said Iran's decision to halt the research and development restrictions on the nuclear program was very worrying, and said a third step in reducing its commitment to the nuclear deal, especially when "we, our European partners and the international are trying" to reduce tensions with Iran is very disappointing.

Regarding the reactions and stances of the European countries, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s remarks should be mentioned who said about the European approach towards the implementation of the third step that Europeans must come to the conclusion that if they want to get permission from the US to fulfill their obligations, the US will not give the permission. You expect the current regime and the US government that has based its policy on exerting maximum pressure to reduce the pressure, and it will definitely not.

The head of Iran's diplomatic apparatus, addressing the Europeans, has told that there is no need that you give Iran any concession and you are not going to do Iran any favor. You are supposed to fulfill your obligations. These commitments are neither dependent on the United States nor subject to American permission.

Referring to Europe's commitments in the form of the JCPOA, Zarif noted that Paragraph 3 of Annex 2 of the JCPOA shows that these obligations are not only the issuance of laws, but also the enforcement of laws and the result of those laws, and the Europeans have violated their obligations which are not related to the US.

He said Europeans were aware that the United States had come with violent policy and had made 11 commitments, repeating these commitments several times and failing to fulfill them.

The FM went on to say that the Europeans in fact were in breach of both the obligations under the JCPOA and the obligations they had after the United States left the JCPOA.

If the Europeans want to wait for permission from a country that has exited the JCPOA to exert pressure on Iran, it will not be granted, the Iranian top diplomat noted.

In conclusion, it is time for Europeans to stop repeated words towards Iran due to failing to fulfill their obligations and to fulfill the commitments they have made, including the 11 commitments under the JCPOA.

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