Scaling down Iran's JCPOA-related commitments and Europe's irresponsible reactions

Tehran, Nov 22, IRNA - Iran has left behind another constraint on the JCPOA by increasing its heavy water reserves. Scaling down obligations in the JCPOA by Iran has faced negative reactions from the European countries, while Europe has so far failed to even meet one of its JCPOA-related obligations.

Following the fourth step in reducing Iran's commitments to Fordow, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union called on Iran to cease the reduction of its commitments. The European Troika and the European Union said in a joint statement on Monday that if Iran continues to decrease its commitments, one of the mechanisms for resolving the dispute will be a re-enforceable and UN sanctions are reversible. Some believe that the statement is somehow paving the death of the JCPOA by activating the trigger mechanism, and some see it as a mere political game.

The statement had said that recent Iranian activities were hampering EU efforts to defuse tensions in the Middle East and they were deeply concerned about Iran's decision to resume uranium enrichment at Fordow.

Reports of Fordow are headlines of newspapers these days. The IAEA said on Monday that Iran has violated another limit on the JCPOA by increasing its heavy water reserves, beyond the 130 ton set in the nuclear deal with world powers. In its report to the Board of Governors, the Agency stated that Iran informed the Agency on November 16 that its heavy water reservoirs had crossed the 130 tons limit and had reached 131.5 tons.

In this regard, the US government has announced that it will cancel the exemptions for the cooperation of foreign companies at the Fordow nuclear site in Iran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a news conference Monday, November 18, that the non-renewal of the exemption will be effective from December 15. Foreign companies' cooperation on the Fordow was one of four exemptions by the US government in connection with the Iranian nuclear project.

The US has extended the exemptions for several foreign companies to cooperate with Iran at Fordow site, Bushehr furnace and Arak Heavy Water Facility on November 1. US government officials have told Reuters that the continued presence of foreign companies in Iran's nuclear industry under IAEA regulations is an obstacle to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. Companies from Russia, China and EU countries were subject to these exemptions.

A number of US lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, as well as House MP Liz Cheney, welcomed the US government's move to lift the exemption on Fordow's nuclear facilities in Iran.

European countries have not yet reacted to the new IAEA report, but Europe's failure to comply with its commitments in the JCPOA and the all-out US sanctions that have led to the imbalance in the international agreement has prompted Iran to adopt an active resistance strategy. It was the strategy that followed after about a year of strategic patience for this non-compliance and the lack of benefits for Iran in the JCPOA. Iran announced in May this year, on the anniversary of the United States' withdrawal from the JCPOA, that it would gradually diminish its obligations under the nuclear deal.

The new EU statement and the three countries of Germany, France and the United Kingdom indicated that Europe was considering pressure on Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron's political efforts to mediate between Iran and the US have shown that the authorities in the green continent have no power. Unless the White House shows the green light.

Reacting to the statement, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account attaching a letter of November 8, 2018 to the EU foreign policy coordinator and other members of the JCPPOA that addressing my counterparts in the European Union / and the three countries of Germany, France and the United Kingdom that: We were fully committed to our commitments under the JCPOA: You!? Really!? Just show a commitment you've made in the past 18 months. 2. When you were busy wasting time, Iran launched and completed the dispute resolution mechanism. We are now using the remedies set forth in paragraph 36 of the JCPOA. See my letter of November 6, 2018.

While European officials have repeatedly threatened Iran to leave the JCPOA, analysts believe Europe will never leave the JCPOA unless the Islamic Republic exits in advance. Europe wants to blame Iran and the US for the death of nuclear deal. So far, however, Europe has not taken a serious and effective step to preserve its bravery and has been desperately observing the destructive actions of the United States to destroy this agreement.

Iran is gradually withdrawing from its commitments a year after a strategic wait in the face of non-compliance of the other parties in the deal in implementing their commitments, although Iranian officials have repeatedly insisted that these measures are aimed at balancing and maintaining the rights and obligations under the agreement and it has been repeatedly emphasized that these steps are reversible.

The JCPOA experience had many lessons for both Iranian and European statesmen and public opinion on both sides. But the most important lesson is that the European Union has a long way to reach its true independence in advancing its policies if it has the will.

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