More cuts by Iran in nuke deal commitments might be inevitable, says Russian diplomat

TASS – The deputy foreign minister claimed that Tehran’s economic interests are to be taken into account

The fourth stage of Iran’s reduction of commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program may be inevitable if Tehran’s economic interests are not taken into account, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in response to a question by TASS.

“They announced a long time ago that if there is no progress from the side of other parties to the JCPOA in ensuring Iran’s legal economic interests, they will take the corresponding measures every two months. I assume that if the situation continues to stall and if there is no improvement regarding Iran’s trade-economic situation, the so-called fourth stage may become inevitable,” he noted.

Ryabkov added that this issue was not discussed during the talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi held in Moscow on Thursday. “We have not discussed this specifically, we talked about what needs to be done to improve the stability of JCPOA,” Ryabkov said.

Iran nuclear deal issue

In 2015, Iran and six major powers (five member states of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China — and Germany) agreed on the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which particularly stipulated the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Washington imposed previous sanctions on Iran and introduced new ones.

On May 8, 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran was reducing its commitments under the JCPOA. He pointed out that the other signatories had two months to return to compliance. The deadline expired on July 7. On July 8, Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi said that Tehran had exceeded the uranium enrichment level of 3.67%. Iran pointed out that it would continue to reduce commitments every 60 days unless other participants restored compliance.

On September 6, Iran announced the third step to scale down commitments under the nuclear deal, abandoning restrictions on nuclear research. Tehran explained the move by saying that the European JCPOA signatories had failed to fully comply with their obligations.