News ID: 261847
Published: 0248 GMT November 20, 2019

Iran reaffirms nuclear commitments cut as response to US sanctions

Iran reaffirms nuclear commitments cut as response to US sanctions

Iran once again reiterated that its measures to scale back its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers were in response to the US reimposition of sanctions that prevented Tehran from reaping the benefits of the agreement.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remark during a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi on Wednesday, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported.

According to the report, Japan's foreign minister urged his Iranian counterpart during the telephone call to halt measures that would “undermine” the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Press TV wrote.

Zarif explained his country's stance, saying that the economic benefits promised in the nuclear deal have not been secured because of sanctions by the United States.

Motegi also called on Iran to continue to fulfill its responsibility as a Persian Gulf littoral state to provide safety of shipping in the extremely important region. He also said that Japan will continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East.

For his part, Zarif said he was keen to closely communicate with Japan.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of an international nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers, in defiance of global criticism, and later reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran as part of the agreement.

In response to the US move to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.

Tehran says the European cosignatories to the deal — Britain, Germany, and France — 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.

As a first step, Iran increased 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.

In the third phase, after the Europeans failed to meet a 60-day deadline to meet Iran’s demands and fulfill their commitments under the deal, Iran started up advanced centrifuges to boost the country's stockpile of enriched uranium and activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges for research and development purposes.

Earlier this month, Iran began injecting gas into centrifuges at the Fordo facility as part of its fourth step away from the JCPOA under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.



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