0720 GMT November 19, 2019
France: Iran must refrain from new reductions
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Wednesday that Iran would further roll back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, if the European parties to the accord fail to live up to their obligations.
Zarif said Iran “did not see effective action” from Germany, France and Britain after the US withdrew from deal - also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - last year in May and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Europe proved unable to meet its obligations,” said Zarif, adding that Iran will definitely take the next steps in cutting its nuclear commitments “if the parties fail to return to their obligations.”
He called the US pullout from the agreement a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions which undermined “multilateral diplomacy.”
Iran has gradually scaled back its nuclear commitments since May after the US pullout, and called on European parties to the pact to salvage the agreement by shielding Iranian economy from US penalties.
The European parties have repeatedly said they are committed to saving the accord, but their efforts have so far borne little fruit.
Tehran has already hit back three times with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond a 300-kilogram maximum set by the deal, and a week later, it announced it had exceeded a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.
In its latest move, it fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles on September 7.
Zarif said on Wednesday that Iran took those steps because it ran out of its “strategic patience.”
Meanwhile, France demanded on Wednesday that Iran refrain from entering a new phase of reductions to its obligations under the nuclear deal.
“Iran must abstain from crossing an especially worrying new phase of new measures that could contribute to an escalation in tensions,” French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing.
She was responding after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Tehran was working on advanced IR-9 centrifuges for uranium enrichment.
“Soon IR-9 centrifuges will begin working,” Rouhani told journalists at a news conference. “IR-7 will begin to work, too.”
Those centrifuges do not appear in the 2015 accord.
Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.