Iran has informed the five remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal of its decision to suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the multinational agreement, exactly one year after the United States unilaterally abandoned the international document.
The ambassadors of the countries remaining in the deal — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — on Wednesday received a letter penned by President Rouhani elaborating the suspension of some of Iran’s commitments under the accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The letter was handed over by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi to the ambassadors of the five countries, who had been invited to the Foreign Ministry. The document specifies the details of the decision taken by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), which is chaired by President Rouhani.
The SNSC’s order is aimed at “safeguarding the Iranian nation’s security and interests” in the line with national rights under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, the letter read.
The document says Tehran has exercised utmost self-restraint and patience since Washington’s exit from the deal last May, and has given the remaining signatories “considerable” time at their own request to compensate for Washington’s withdrawal and guarantee Iran’s interests.
Nevertheless, the other parties have failed to adopt any “practical measures” to blunt the impact of the economic sanctions that were re-imposed against Tehran by the US following its withdrawal, the letter said.
The Islamic Republic is thus entitled to restore the balance between its rights and obligations under the JCPOA, and has no option but to “reduce its commitments” within the framework of the deal, it added.
At the current stage, the letter said, Iran will no longer consider itself committed to the limits agreed under the deal on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water stocks.
Under the JCPOA, Iran is allowed to keep 300 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 3.67 percent. The deal requires Tehran to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on international markets in return for natural uranium.
Tehran’s stock of heavy water is also restricted to 130 tonnes under the deal, which also calls for Iran’s excess heavy water to be sold to a foreign buyer.
The Council has given Iran’s partners in the deal “60 days to meet their commitments, especially in the banking and oil sectors,” said the letter. “Whenever our demands are met, we will, to the same extent, resume the commitments. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic will be suspending more commitments stage by stage.”
The council has also advised the other parties against adopting any imprudent acts:
“Iran stands ready to continue its consultations with the remaining parties to the deal at all levels, but it will swiftly and firmly react to any irresponsible measure, including returning the [nuclear] case to the Security Council or imposing more sanctions.”
Tehran has showed “good will” throughout the lengthy diplomatic process, including the negotiations in the run-up to the deal and the implementation of the accord. It once again displayed “goodwill” when the US left the deal and patiently waited for the opposite side to fulfill their commitments.
The letter said it is now the other side’s turn to prove their “goodwill” and adopt “serious and practical” measures towards protecting the JCPOA.
Iran holds the US and the other signatories responsible for the potential collapse of the JCPOA and its repercussions, according to the letter.
President Rouhani informed the Iranian people of the decisions in a live televised speech. The broadcast is now available on our Twitter feed.