EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the three European countries’ call on Iran to stop taking new steps beyond the limits of the 2015 nuclear agreement, stressing that Tehran’s position in this regard is in line with the deal’s provisions.
“Have our E3 partners ever read para 36 of JCPOA & Iran's many letters on that basis?” he said on Twitter, using the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal’s formal name.
Iran began to scale down its commitments under the deal a year after the United States’ unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and in response to the sweeping sanctions reimposed by former US President Donald Trump.
It argues that the remedial measures are taken based on paragraph 36 of JCPOA which allows one party to stop meeting its obligations fully or in part in case of non-compliance by another side.
European parties, namely France, Britain and Germany, have constantly urged Iran to return to full compliance despite their own failure to fulfil their end of the bargain under US pressure.
In recent months, Tehran has been ramping up its measures beyond the limits of the deal as per a parliamentary legislation, including the production of uranium metal to be used as fuel in Tehran Research Reactor.
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed the initiation of the plan this week, causing alarm among European countries.
“We strongly urge Iran to halt these activities without delay and not to take any new non-compliant steps on its nuclear program. In escalating its non-compliance, Iran is undermining the opportunity for renewed diplomacy to fully realize the objectives of the JCPOA,” the three states said in a statement on Friday.
With the arrival of the new President Joe Biden in the US, who has pledged to rejoin the deal, JCPOA parties are hoping that the deal could be restored through diplomacy.
Tehran, however, maintains that it will continue its nuclear plans unless the sanctions are completely and effectively lifted, in which case all measures would be reversed.
“By what logic is the onus on IRAN to stop its remedial measures undertaken a full year after the US withdrew from—and continues to violate—the JCPOA? What have E3 done to fulfill their duties?” Zarif said in his tweet.
Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi also told China’s CGTN in a recent interview that it is the US that should come back to compliance first.
“What we did was, in fact, a remedy for the violation of the deal by the United States, and against the reimposition of sanctions on Iran,” he said, adding that Iran would resume compliance swiftly after it verifies that sanctions are gone.