TEHRAN (defapress) – A senior Iranian diplomat said Tehran has devised plans for a phased reduction of commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that the country’s third step in scaling down its undertakings will begin in two months.
News ID: 78001
Publish Date: 07July 2019 - 13:55
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi said Tehran is resolved to take the third step in reducing the commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if the other parties to the deal continue refusing to live up to their obligations.
He said Iran has prepared plans for a phased reduction of its commitments in separate 60-day periods, noting that the second step has just begun.
For the first step, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium surpassed the limits set by the JCPOA, Araqchi noted, adding that the level of uranium enrichment in the country would also rise to above 3.67 percent during the second step, which began today.
The reduction in Iran’s JCPOA commitments would continue in a phased trend with 60-day steps, he added, warning the remaining parties to the nuclear deal that Iran will definitely take the third step in the next 60 days if formal and informal negotiations to ensure Tehran’s interests would do not yield results.
“Iran has weighed up and studied not only the third step, but also the next steps,” Araqchi said, adding that details of the third step will be publicized two months later.
He also played down concerns about the level of uranium enrichment in Iran, saying what matters is not the percentage of uranium enrichment, but the fact that Tehran is not remaining committed to the restrictions set by the JCPOA.
Iran on Sunday declared the second step in reduction of its commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.
President Hassan Rouhani had warned on Wednesday that the second step of reduction in Iran’s commitments would take place on Sunday, saying, “On July 7, the level of (uranium) enrichment in Iran will not be 3.67 percent anymore, as we will abandon such a commitment and increase it (enrichment) to any amount that we need.”
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA, but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the nuclear deal.
The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.
Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.
However, the EU’s failure of ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Last week, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium exceeded 300 kg.