BRUSSELS—In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, noted ‘’with great’’ concern Iran’s statement made by Iran concerning its commitments under the nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Wednesday that the regime will partially withdraw from the 2015 JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) one year to the month after the United States withdrew from the accord.
‘’We remain fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all,’’ the joint statement by Mogherini and the three countries.
They added : ‘’We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPoA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps.’’
‘’We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPoA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.’’
The joint statement recalls ‘’our firm commitments under the agreement including as regards sanctions-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people. In this regard, we regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA.’’
‘’We are determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalisation of the special purpose vehicle “INSTEX”, said the statement.
Mogherini and the French,German and British Foreign Ministers also called on countries not party to the JCPoA ‘’to refrain from taking any actions that impede the remaining parties’ ability to fully perform their commitments.’’
In his televised address, Rouhani said : “The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not anymore see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy-water reserves.’’
Last week, the United States extended five of seven temporary waivers late last week to permit countries part of the nuclear deal to conduct civil nuclear projects with the regime, but with limits as part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
The waivers—extended to 90 days, down from the 180 days previously granted—allow the signees to continue conducting nonproliferation work at the Bushehr, Arak and Fordow nuclear facilities.
Simultaneously, the United States ended two waivers: one that permitted “the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits” in Oman, and another that allowed Iran to exchange enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.
“Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment,” said U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
“Our policy preserves oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduces proliferation risks, constrains Iran’s ability to shorten its ‘breakout time’ to a nuclear weapon and prevents the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes,” she added. “We reserve the right to revoke or modify our policy covering these nonproliferation activities at any time if Iran violates its nuclear obligations or commitments, or we conclude that such projects no longer provide value in constraining Iranian nuclear activities.”
In response to Iran’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
JNS conributed to this report.