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EghtesadOnline: Iran will most likely implement the fourth phase of its plan to reduce compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, if European efforts to save the accord remain fruitless, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"A committee affiliated to the Supreme National Security Council is currently devising the fourth step," Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday, IRNA reported. 

Iran is facing sweeping American sanctions since last year when the United States President Donald Trump unilaterally quit the nuclear agreement, formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 

European parties have failed to protect Iran against the US pressure, prompting Iranian authorities to adopt a reciprocal plan by gradually scaling back JCPOA commitments, taking one step every 60 days, Financial Tribune reported.

Tehran has, however, declared that the plan will be abandoned and the moves will be reversed, as soon as the country's economic concerns are addressed. 

Three stages of the plan have been implemented so far, but Iran's economy shows no sign of recovery, raising the possibility of launching the fourth phase in the coming week (potentially on Nov. 6). 

"European countries, especially the French, are still trying to take measures toward fulfilling their commitments, but their efforts have not yet produced any tangible result," the spokesman said.

Europe has proposed a mechanism to allow trade with Iran by circumventing US sanctions, which has not become operational so far. 

Mousavi stressed that the path to diplomacy is open, as it has been, and measures are underway in the regard.

France has sought to bring the two into talks but has so far failed. It proposed a plan based on which both Tehran and Washington would make compromises to enable talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September. The initiative failed, as both sides refused to abandon core elements of their policies.  

Iran has continued talks with the remaining parties to the deal, but has maintained that it would come to the negotiating table with the US only if Washington lifts all sanctions and returns to JCPOA, which demand has been rejected by Trump.


JCPOA Iran nuclear deal Compliance reduce compliance 4th Step Reducing Highly Likely fourth phase