0215 GMT July 21, 2019
Iran’s foreign minister has sent a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, calling for a joint commission meeting on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal following a recent move by the US to extend anti-Iran sanctions.
In his letter, Mohammad Javad Zarif has underlined Iran’s full commitment to the nuclear deal – also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – which Iran struck with the P5+1 group of countries last year.
The Iranian foreign minister stressed that all sides needed to fulfill their commitments stipulated in the deal, as the JCPOA was a multilateral agreement.
“Maintaining the JCPOA integrity and coherence, as well as its sustainability, requires that all parties to the JCPOA pay attention to [their commitment to] implement its contents,” Zarif said.
He noted that the United States kept reneging on its obligations under the nuclear agreement and called on the EU foreign policy chief to make the necessary preparations for the JCPOA joint commission meeting.
On December 1, the US Senate voted 99-0 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for a decade after it cleared the House of Representatives 419-1 in late November. On December 15, US President Barack Obama declined to sign the bill, but let it become law anyway.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran had warned that the approval of the ISA would amount to a breach of the nuclear deal.
In response to the congressional vote, Rouhani ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to plan work on nuclear propulsion devices to be used in sea transport in response to the recent US violation of the nuclear deal.
In a directive issued to the head of the AEOI, the Iranian chief executive demanded that the organization draw appropriate plans to design and manufacture nuclear propulsion devices as well as the fuel required for them.
He instructed Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, to report back to him on the issue within a maximum period of three months.
The nuclear deal allows for the signatories to hold a "joint commission" to discuss claims of a violation.
Iran has been frustrated by the limited economic benefits of the accord, which removed many international sanctions.
Although it has managed to significantly ramp up its oil exports, Tehran has struggled to rejoin the international financial system because Washington has maintained a raft of other sanctions related to non-nuclear issues that have helped deter major Western banks from doing business with Iran.