Tehran’s boost in uranium enrichment is allowed by the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s foreign minister claims, adding that all steps it has taken can be reversed if its European counterparts fulfill their commitments under that deal.
“Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under [Paragraph] 36 of the JCPOA. We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US #EconomicTerrorism. All such steps are reversible only through E3 compliance,” Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, tweeted on Sunday.
Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA—incl after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, incl at IAEA.
E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter U.S unilateralism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 7, 2019
Zarif pointed to the dispute resolution mechanism outlined in Paragraph 36 of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to the pact, if Iran believes any of the members of the deal have failed to fulfill their commitments, Tehran is free to “cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA in whole or in part.” With this clause Zarif justified Iran’s decision, announced earlier on Sunday, to surpass the limit of uranium enrichment set under the JCPOA deal.
“Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA – [including] after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under [Paragraph] 36, including at [International Atomic Energy Agency],” Zarif tweeted further, noting also that the E3, or the 3 EU JCPOA participants – France, the UK, and Germany – have no “pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter US unilateralism.”
Earlier, Zarif already addressed Paragraph 36, demanding that Europe acts more to protect the Iranian economy from Washington’s sanctions, which have crippled it by scaring off potential investors from the Iranian market. Tehran’s stance remains the same – it will abide by JCPOA obligations as soon as its European counterparts abide by theirs.
For their part, the European countries recently launched the so-called INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) payment system, which allows some trade with Iran. However, while bypassing the US sanctions which have stifled nearly all trade with the Islamic republic altogether, INSTEX limits transactions to food and medicine. Tehran considers the instrument insufficient as it does not include trade in oil.
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