Iran not to take third nuclear step If Europe meets obligations: Spokesman

Tasnim – Spokesman for the Iranian Administration Ali Rabiei said the country would not take the third step in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal if the European parties meet their obligations under the international accord.

Speaking to reporters at his press conference in Tehran on Monday, Rabiei pointed to Iran’s third step to reduce its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and said, “If Europe fulfills its commitments, Iran will also return to its commitments under the JCPOA.”

He further referred to recent talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron and said, “In the past few weeks, there have been serious negotiations between the two presidents.”

“Fortunately, the views have become closer together on many issues,” he said, adding, “Technical discussions on European commitments are now underway.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a recent interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that Tehran’s third step to reduce nuclear obligations would be taken on September 6.

Back in July, Iran declared the second step to reduce its commitments by ramping up the level of uranium enrichment to over 3.67 percent.

Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the nuclear deal, known as 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 JCPOA.

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

Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi recently said that the country’s enriched uranium stockpile has reached 360 to 370 kilograms.