EghtesadOnline: Iran will fully implement the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal as long as the European parties meet their obligations completely, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday.
Zarif was responding to a European Union statement calling on Iran to return to full compliance after it partially reduced its commitments.
"Iran is committed to the full implementation of the #JCPOA: as long as E3/EU implement THEIR economic commitments," he wrote on his Twitter account, using the abbreviation for the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
After the United States withdrew from the accord last year and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, other parties vowed to protect Iran's interests against the economic pressure, Financial Tribune reported.
The EU launched a payment channel known as INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) to facilitate non-dollar transactions with Iran, but it has not addressed Iran's core concerns yet.
A year after the US pullout on May 8, Iran scaled down its compliance, giving the remaining parties a 60-day deadline to fulfill their pledges.
On Monday, it announced that it has exceeded the 300-kg enriched uranium stockpile limit, which sparked widespread reaction from the world.
Foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain (E3) and the high representative of European Union issued a joint statement on Tuesday, expressing extreme concern at the step that was also confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"We regret this decision by Iran, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear nonproliferation," the statement published by EEAS read.
They also urged Iran to reverse this step and refrain from further measures that they say would undermine the nuclear deal.
"We have been consistent and clear that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran … We are urgently considering next steps under the terms of the JCPOA in close coordination with other JCPOA participants," it said.
Iran says that its move is not in violation of the deal and has been taken as per a paragraph of JCPOA that provides a mechanism to resolve disputes when other signatories are not fulfilling their obligations.
Tehran has also stressed that the steps can be reversed once other parties deliver on their promises.
"So moving forward, Iran will comply with its commitments under the JCPOA in exactly the same manner as the EU/E3 have—and will—comply with theirs," Zarif also wrote on his Twitter.
After a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he explained to reporters that the EU has to meet 11 commitments.
"After [US President Donald] Trump quit JCPOA, we had a ministerial session with the three European countries and later two sessions with the ministers of the remaining JCPOA parties … where they made 11 commitments," he said, IRNA reported.
He did not specify the commitments, but said they involved issues such as Iran's oil sale and repatriation of revenue, foreign investment in Iran, transport, aviation and shipping.
INSTEX, or any other payment channel, however, is not among the commitments, Zarif said.
"If operationalized, INSTEX would be a prelude to the implementation of those 11 commitments," he added.
No Room for Objection
President Hassan Rouhani also said during the meeting that Iran's reversible non-compliance after a fair period of strategic patience cannot be objected to.
"Iran does not intend to be obstinate, or to break the agreement, but other parties cannot criticize Iran's moves because Tehran has extended its timeframe several times in response to Europe's repeated requests," he was quoted as saying by his website.
The president stressed that Iran's decisions are not aimed at undermining JCPOA, but in line with its preservation.
"We believe if we don't do anything, JCPOA will wear away … We will mutually reduce our commitment so that this structure will remain balanced and survive," he said.
Rouhani noted that Iran's return to compliance would be immediate if other sides fulfill their obligations, otherwise, the next step would be taken as planned on July 7 when the 60-day deadline expires.
"Our recommendation to Europe and the US is to return to logic, the negotiating table, mutual understanding and respect to law and to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council," he said.