Iran to keep reducing its nuclear commitments every 60 days — diplomat

TASS – “Iran alone can not, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve the JCPOA,” the diplomat said

Tehran is set to continue reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal every 60 days unless the remaining parties in the treaty take practical measures to preserve the agreement, Iran’s envoy to the United Nations Ali Nasimfar said.

“Iran alone can not, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve the JCPOA,” he told the UN General Assembly session devoted to cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “Consequently, to bring a balance to the JCPOA, Iran decided to limit the implementation of its commitment in full conformity with the JCPOA’s Paragraph 26 and 36.”

“These are the minimal measures that Iran could adopt a year after the US withdrew from the JCPOA,” Nasimfar added.

“If timely adequate, serious and practical measures are not taken by other the JCPOA participants, Iran will be forced to exercise its right under the JCPOA Paragraphs 26 and 36 to further limit the implementation of its commitment every 60 days,” he said.

The Iranian diplomat reiterated that “all measures taken by Iran are fully reversible, thus providing opportunity for remaining JCPOA participants either to take serious practical steps to preserve the JCPOA, or, along with the US, accept the full responsibility for any possible consequences.”

IAEA to continue inspections

IAEA Acting Director General Cornel Feruta told the General Assembly that he had “just informed the IAEA Board about the resumption of uranium enrichment at Fordow.”

“The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement,” he said. “Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue.”

“It is important for Iran to respond substantively and satisfactorily to Agency questions concerning a location in Iran,” the IAEA official continued. “I hope that, after the Board meeting last week, substantive engagement by Iran will lead to the clarification of all relevant aspects.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Russian embassy to the UN, Denis Lozinsky, said that “IAEA’s professional and impartial approach while carrying out inspections in Iran is key to implementing the JCPOA and ensuring international confidence in the purely peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.”

“Regaining the lost balance of the nuclear deal is our common task,” he added.

JCPOA

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

Iran pledged not to enrich uranium above the level of 3.67% for 15 years and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles at the level not exceeding 300 kg, as well as not to build new heavy-water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to develop nuclear explosive devices.

The future of the Iranian nuclear deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout on May 8, 2018 and Washington’s unilateral oil export sanctions against Tehran. Iran argues that all other participants, Europeans in the first place, ignore some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless.

In May 2019, Iran declared the first phase of suspending some of its commitments (60-day suspension of enriched uranium sales). In July, Tehran proceeded with the second phase of the suspension (by declaring uranium enrichment to above 3.67%) and promised to reduce its commitments further on each 60 days unless the other signatories restore compliance with the concluded agreements.

On September 6, Iran said it was proceeding to the third stage of reduction of its nuclear deal commitments and dropped restrictions of research activities.

On November 6, Iran started injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its Fordow facility, which effectively meant the start of the fourth stage of reduction of Tehran’s nuclear commitments.