Iran Serious About Rolling Back JCPOA Curbs If EU Inertia Persists
EghtesadOnline: The European Union should not underestimate Iran's determination to gradually reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal a year after the United States' pullout and other parties' failure to compensate for Tehran’s losses, a senior diplomat said.
Abbas Araqchi, deputy foreign minister for political affairs, made the statement on Thursday in a meeting with Richard Moore, director general for political affairs at the British Foreign Office, who is on a mission in Tehran at the head of a delegation.
Araqchi stressed Iran's seriousness in its decision to scale back the curbs on its nuclear program under JCPOA in phases, according to Financial Tribune.
"Iran has shown enough patience but Europe has not used the opportunity," he was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The US withdrew from the nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, last May and reimposed sanctions that have seriously affected the country's economy.
Iran stayed within the pact, relying on the remaining parties, particularly the European Union, to protect its interests, but they proved unable to shield the country against hostile American measures and remained lackadaisical.
On Wednesday, the anniversary of American withdrawal, Iran declared that it will stop complying with two of its commitments under JCPOA and gave the remaining signatories 60 days to make good on promises to protect its oil and banking sectors from renewed US sanctions.
The EU, which has taken a number of half-measures, including the establishment of a financial mechanism known as INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges), rejected the deadline but reiterated its commitment to fully implement the terms of JCPOA. It has dragged its feet over INSTEX for more than a year now without showing the necessary urgency or resolve to stand up to the US unilateralism.
"We recall our own firm commitments under the agreement, including as regards sanctions-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people," a lifeless joint statement by France, Germany and Britain read.
Call for Fulfilling Commitments
The deputy foreign minister called for the fulfillment of commitments by the five remaining parties to the deal (France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) emphasized in four statements of the JCPOA Joint Commission after the US withdrawal.
Araqchi also urged the EU to take practical action within the 60-day timeframe, especially with regard to oil and banking sectors.
Moore reaffirmed Britain's continued adherence to JCPOA and efforts to activate INSTEX.
"Britain will keep working to meet Iran's demands," he said.
INSTEX is a payment channel jointly designed by France, Germany and Britain to enable legitimate trade with Iran through a non-dollar mechanism so as to bypass US sanctions.
It was formally registered in late January, but required a corresponding entity in Iran to operate.
Although the reciprocal company named Special Trade and Finance Institute has been founded in Iran, INSTEX has not been activated yet.