0445 GMT June 19, 2019
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov called for an immediate meeting of the joint commission of the Iran nuclear deal, saying that time is ripe to seriously talk about the 2015 agreement.
Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday that Iran’s production of low-enriched uranium is not in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to IRNA.
Russian Foreign Ministry also in a statement later on Tuesday said the production of low-enriched uranium by Iran does not violate the JCPOA since it is under the control of the IAEA. It also called for a JCPOA joint commission meeting.
"It is highly important that this work [increasing production of low-enriched uranium] is carried out under strict IAEA control. That is not a problem in terms of Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The IAEA was warned in advance about the upcoming changes. All the established procedures were followed. Even by increasing production, Iran remains within the framework specified in the JCPOA", it added.
Iran has increased by fourfold the production rate of uranium enriched to 3.67% just a few weeks after the country officially stopped implementing some of its commitments under an international nuclear accord.
Tehran has informed the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) of this issue.
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Tuesday that the increase in production is a message to other signatories to the nuclear deal to tell them they must take necessary measures asked by Iran when it announced downgrading of its commitments.
On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran said that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, announcing that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.
Ready to support JCPOA 'just as France did'
On Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry reacted to remarks by the French Foreign Ministry’s spokesman who had urged Tehran to continue to implement all of its obligations under the JCPOA, and to refrain from any measures that would put it in violation of its commitments, Press TV reported.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Iran is fully prepared to implement the 2015 nuclear deal exactly in the same way that France and its European partners did during the past year.
He suggested that his sarcastic comment must be completely convincing for the French who claim to be supporting the nuclear agreement.
In a daily briefing on Tuesday, the French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, “We reject any ultimatums and will assess Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments in regard to its implementation of obligations set forth under JCPOA."
"In this regard, we reaffirm the crucial follow-up and monitoring roles played by the International Atomic Energy Agency. France is determined to see the JCPOA – central to the international non-proliferation and international security regime – implemented in full,” the spokesperson said.
"Along with its European partners, France is continuing its efforts to preserve the economic benefits linked to the lifting of sanctions as provided by the Iranian nuclear agreement, as long as Iran respects all of its nuclear obligations," the French official noted.