Iran’s moves to reduce JCPOA commitments legal: Cleric

Tasnim – Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani described Iran’s recent moves to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as “legal”.

Addressing a congregation of worshippers in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Emami Kashani said the European parties to the JCPOA have met none of their obligations under the deal, including those relating to the Iranian oil exports and banking relations.

In accordance with the JCPOA, the Iranian government announced that it would reduce its commitments, he said, adding that the Islamic Republic had given the other parties a 60-week deadline.

They did not do anything to meet their obligations over the 60 weeks and now, they ask why Iran does not fulfill its obligations, the cleric went on to say.

“Iran’s commitments depend on European commitments,” Ayatollah Emami Kashani said, adding that Iran has made “a legal move” and the world accepts this.

The remarks came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a special meeting last week at Washington’s request to win the Board of Governors’ support for its anti-Iran claims about the JCPOA.

The emergency meeting of the 35-member Board of Governors of the IAEA was held in Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, which wrapped up with no conclusion.

The meeting came a few days after Iran increased the level of its uranium enrichment to 4.5%, which is beyond the limit set by the JCPOA. The move was part of the second phase of the country’s May 8 decision to reduce its commitments under the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal in reaction to the US violations and Europe’s inaction.

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.