Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran has never left the negotiating table and is ready to fully implement its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement if the Europeans do so.
“If the Europeans live up to their commitments, Iran would also resume fulfilling its commitments (to the nuclear deal), Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of the Sunday meeting of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Sunday.
“There is still possibility of not taking the third step of Iran’s reduction of its commitments to the nuclear deal if the Europeans act to fulfill their obligations,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
However, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the international nuclear deal in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Since May, Iran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
Iran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions, which were imposed last year when Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal.
The European signatories to the JCPOA have so far failed to uphold their commitments. They have expressed vocal support for the deal, but failed to provide meaningful economic incentives as required under the nuclear agreement.
The Europeans have already missed a 60-day deadline set by Tehran, prompting Iran to go for the second phase of cutting its commitments on July 7, which marked the start of a second such deadline for them.
As a first step, Iran began to increase its enriched uranium stockpile to beyond the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA.
In the second step, Tehran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.
The third step will be taken on September 6.