Russia says to keep trying to save JCPOA

Tasnim – Russia is concerned over plans by Iran to increase the level of its uranium enrichment, and will pursue diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

“The situation is of course concerning,” Peskov told journalists, according to the Tass news agency.

“Russia aims to continue dialogue and efforts on the diplomatic front. We are still supporters of the JCPOA,” he added.

“I would like to remind you that it is the Russian side and President Putin warned about the negative consequences which would inevitably arise after one of the parties to the JCPOA decided to cease fulfilling its obligations and quit the deal.”

Iran on Sunday declared the second step to reduce its commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.

President Hassan Rouhani had warned on Wednesday that the second step of reduction in Iran’s commitments would take place on Sunday, saying, “On July 7, the level of (uranium) enrichment in Iran will not be 3.67 percent anymore, as we will abandon such a commitment and increase it (enrichment) to any amount that we need.”

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the nuclear deal.

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.

However, the EU’s failure of ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.

Last week, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium exceeded 300 kg.