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EghtesadOnline: Iran will likely implement the third phase of a plan to scale back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal under the current circumstances, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

“We have said that if JCPOA is not completely implemented by others, we will implement it in the same incomplete manner. And of course, all of our actions have been within the framework of JCPOA," he told ICANA, using the abbreviation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the deal. 

Iran's gradual reduction of compliance with the nuclear agreement is a reciprocal action that it took a year after the United States quit the deal and reimposed sanctions that the remaining signatories have been unable to make up for. 

Tehran expects to receive some guarantee about enjoying the economic benefits of JCPOA, but efforts by the parties have been fruitless so far, Financial Tribune reported.

Europe, for instance, has devised a financial mechanism known as INSTEX to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and bypass the US sanctions. It has begun its first transactions, but key issues such as Iran's banking relations and oil exports have not been addressed yet.

"All members of the JCPOA Joint Commission today agree that the US has caused all the tension and Iran … has not demanded anything beyond JCPOA," Zarif said. 

Under the first phase of its reciprocal plan, Iran surpassed the limits set on the size of its stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water in early May. 

After 60 days, it initiated the second stage by enriching uranium above the purity level it had agreed to in JCPOA. 

The next phase, according to Iranian officials, could involve a further increase in uranium enrichment level, using more advanced centrifuge technology or restarting deactivated centrifuges. 

With fears of a conflict rising due to the Iran-US standoff, other parties to the deal have been seeking ways to freeze the current status quo. They have been calling on Iran to refrain from taking the third step to prevent an escalation in the situation. 

"It is up to the Islamic Republic to make decisions in this regard and if the commitments of JCPOA parties are not fulfilled, this step will definitely be taken as a follow-up to previous measures," Zarif said. 

Iranian officials have said that all of Tehran's moves are reversible, when the remaining signatories uphold their commitments.

 

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