Iran’s President Rouhani announced a gradual scale-down of the country’s nuclear commitments. Tehran refused to dispose of excessive heavy water and uranium, and said additional measures will be taken over periods of 60 days.
The deal signed with Iran by leading world powers and the EU, offered Tehran a relief of sanctions in exchange for voluntarily restrictions of its nuclear industry. Last year the US broke its commitments under the deal and has been seeking to cripple Iran’s economy with economic sanction. Iran nevertheless remained faithful to its commitments as other signatories pledged to keep the deal alive by withstanding to US pressure.
On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced on national television that Iran will be suspending some of its commitments under the deal, which is also called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), due to continued US violation and a failure of European signatories to compensate for the damage done by Washington.
As of now, Tehran will no longer sell off excessive enriched uranium and heavy water, the Iranian president said. Under JCPOA terms, it is required to dispose of those materials if production exceeds certain thresholds.
Other signatories will have 60 days to negotiate with Iran and address its concerns, particularly in oil industry and banking sector, which Washington targets with its sanctions. If an agreement is reached, the suspension will be reversed.
Otherwise Iran will no longer be bound by an obligation not to enrich uranium over a certain level and may restore the shut heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak, which was supposed to be repurposed with the help of other signatories under the nuclear deal.
After those measures are implemented, 60 more days will be given for negotiations, Rouhani warned. And then Iran may take additional unspecified measures, he said.
Rouhani defended the JCPOA as a deal that was beneficial to Iran and detrimental to the enemies of Iran. He said only “radicals in the US,” Israel and Saudi-led Arab nations were interested in destroying it.
“Today is not the end of the nuclear deal,” he stated, calling on other signatories to act and salvage the agreement.
The deal was signed under US President Barack Obama, but the Trump administration sided with Israel, which believed the agreement to be a threat to its national security and sought to undermine it. Washington withdrew from the JCPOA in May last year.