Iran’s recent move to further suspend its nuclear commitments following European parties’ failure to honor their obligations fit within the country’s rights under paragraph 36 of the 2015 nuclear between Tehran and world powers.
“Our response to US #EconomicTerrorism & blackmail is opposite of what @real DonaldTrump was led to believe. Our 4th step to suspend a #JCPOA provision is foreseen in Para 36 as remedy to US+E3 violations. Easy solution for E3/EU: Abide by your obligations & we'll reverse course,” Zarif tweeted late on Tuesday.
In a speech earlier in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the fourth step to scale back the country’s obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would begin tomorrow.
“The 4th step, like the three previous steps, is reversible and whenever they (the other parties) fulfill their obligations, we will go back (to our commitments),” the president added.
The fourth step will be taken tomorrow at the Fordow nuclear site, Rouhani said, adding that Iran has 1044 centrifuges at Fordow, which were supposed to rotate without gas according to the JCPOA but gas will be injected into them tomorrow.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that Moscow was also “monitoring the development of the situation with concern” and supported “the preservation of this deal.”
At the same time, Peskov said Russia understood Tehran’s concerns over the “unprecedented and illegal sanctions” against the country.
France called on Tehran to reverse its decision, claiming it “goes against the Vienna agreement, which strictly limits activities in this area.”
French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said Paris remained committed to the accord and urged Iran to “fully adhere to its obligations and to cooperate fully with the IAEA”.
A spokesperson for the US State Department on Tuesday also reacted to the move, describing the decision as “a big step in the wrong direction”.
“We fully support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in conducting its independent verification role in Iran and look to the IAEA to report on any developments,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.
Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.
The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.