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EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that Iran will continue to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency despite implementing the last step of scaling back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

"Iran's full cooperation w/IAEA will continue," he tweeted. 

Iran announced on Sunday that it will no longer recognize any limits on its peaceful nuclear operations, as it took the fifth and final step away from the nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to Financial Tribune.

The plan to gradually reduce compliance with the deal was adopted in May 2019 in response to the United States' unilateral exit last year and the inability of European signatories to make up for the American reimposed sanctions. 

The Sunday statement said Iran will "lay aside the last piece of its operational limitations under JCPOA, i.e. 'restriction on the number of centrifuges'," IRNA reported.

Zarif described the move as the "5th & final REMEDIAL step under paragraph 36 of JCPOA." 

Paragraph 36 allows a signatory to reduce its commitments once another party is deemed out of compliance. 

The new step means that Iran no longer faces any restriction in operational areas that include the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, enriched material stockpile and research and development. 

"From now on, Iran's nuclear program will be pursued solely based on the country's technical requirements," the statement read. 

The announcement, however, pointed out that Iran is ready to return to full compliance with JCPOA once the sanctions are lifted or it can enjoy the deal’s benefits once again through compensatory mechanisms developed by the remaining parties. 

"This step is within JCPOA & all 5 steps are reversible upon EFFECTIVE implementation of reciprocal obligations," Zarif wrote on Twitter. 



Calls for Compliance 

The nuclear steps were particularly aimed at inducing Europe to take more practical steps toward protecting Iran's economy against the sanctions. 

Following the announcement, the three European parties to the deal, namely France, Britain and Germany, once again urged Iran to "reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA" in a joint statement on the situation of the region, published on the website of the British government.  

Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, expressed deep regret about Iran's latest announcement on JCPOA. 

"Full implementation of #NuclearDeal by all is now more important than ever, for regional stability & global security," he tweeted on Monday. 

He added that they will rely as ever on the verification of the IAEA to check Iran's compliance. 

"I will continue working with all participants on way forward." 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said on Monday that the new move could lead to the collapse of the deal. 

"[The situation] has not got easier, and this could be the first step to the end of this agreement, which would be a big loss so we will weigh this up very, very responsibly now," Reuters quoted him as telling Deutschlandfunk radio. 

Maas noted that the German, French and British officials would discuss the situation on Monday to decide on how to respond to the moves this week. 


Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif cooperation commitments IAEA nuclear deal Foreign Minister Scaling Back cooperate Nuclear Move