European diplomats: Iran decision response to new US sanctions
President Hassan Rouhani is expected to announce new decisions in response to the US unilateral sanctions on Iran and its “hostile acts” on the first anniversary of America’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian media reported on Monday.
The new measures, as Iranian media said, will be “within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” – the official name of the Iran nuclear deal – and will “be implemented decisively.”
Based on the reports, Rouhani is set to introduce minor and general reductions on some of Iran’s commitments as part of the JCPOA but leaving the nuclear deal isn’t on the agenda.
The announcement will be made via state media on Wednesday and Rouhani is expected roll out the steps, an unnamed official involved with the deal’s implementation said. The matter has been communicated informally to European Union officials, the person said.
The national TV also on Monday quoted an official close to the JCPOA Supervisory Board as having said Iran is about to partially resume parts of its nuclear program.
The source said although the activities to be resumed are covered under two articles of the JCPOA, "Iran is not planning to withdraw from the nuclear deal at the time being."
The two articles are about partial or total suspension of implementation of JCPOA, and informing the United Nations of the other parties' lack of commitment to the agreement.
European diplomats also warned Monday that Iran is preparing to abandon parts of the landmark deal in response to new US sanctions.
A senior European diplomat told The Wall Street Journal that Iranian officials have been considering a partial withdrawal from the multilateral accord.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sweeping sanctions on the country’s vital oil exports and banking system over Tehran’s missile program and its regional role.
The European signatories of the deal – the UK, France and Germany — as well as Russia and China still support the deal, saying the accord is working and delivering on its goal.
Iran agreed to the accord, which has the support of the UN Security Council, in return for a lifting of sanctions. Iran has time and again said it may pull out of it if the country does not receive the economic benefits of the JCPOA.
The three European countries have launched a financial channel to facilitate trade with Iran but the mechanism has not become operational yet.
A day before Rouhani’s announcement, a team of Iranian experts will meet with the remaining parties to the deal in Brussels.
Bloomberg also contributed to this story.