Russia calls on all parties to Iranian nuclear deal not to test its limits

TASS – Moscow calls on all members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear deal not to test the limits of the agreement, or it might fall apart, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during the fourth Moscow Nonproliferation Conference.

“We understand the motives due to which the Islamic Republic of Iran takes steps reducing its voluntary obligations under the deal every 60 days. At the same time, we call on all the sides, all remaining JCPOA members to exercise restraint,” the diplomat said. “We cannot test the limits of this agreement. It might fall apart, it might collapse, and then we would be in the situation when the risks of open conflict and further complications in the volatile region of the Persian Gulf will increase even further.”

Ryabkov pointed out that the crisis around the JCPOA was specifically provoked by the US.

On November 5, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran would take the next step to reduce its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by activating centrifuges at the Fordow uranium enrichment plant on Wednesday. In accordance with the 2015 JCPOA, Iran had to modernize the Fordow plant under international observers’ supervision. The envisioned modernization was supposed to make this facility impossible to be used for military purposes.

On November 6, the ISNA agency informed that Iran began to pump gas to the centrifuges at Fordow, which signified the fourth stage of Tehran’s reduction of obligations under the JCPOA.

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.