Ambassador: Iran Entitled to Modify Undertakings Based on N. Deal
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi said his country has never withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but modified its undertakings in line with the rights envisaged for the members of the nuclear deal.
“How do they expect Iran to take the first step, while Iran is still in the JCPOA?” Takht Ravanchi said in an interview with the Euronews Persian section on Monday, adding that Iran has started to reduce JCPOA-related commitments based on paragraph 36 of the agreement.
“According to Paragraph 36, if a participant to the deal commits an evident violation of the deal, Iran is allowed to stop abiding by its commitments totally or in a partial manner; we chose the latter option,” he noted.
In relevant remarks early February, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that if the US implements its undertakings based on the nuclear deal, Iran will also immediately reverse measures adopted to decrease commitments.
Zarif in a twitter post early Wednesday February 3 referred to his recent interview with the CNN International, and said, “I told the CNNI’s Christian Amanpour (that the) US left the JCPOA and violated it. Iran took remedial measures. US should return to compliance. Iran will then immediately reverse remedial measures.”
He also proposed that Joseph Borrel, the nuclear deal’s Joint Commission Coordinator, “can choreograph the moves in consultation with Iran and US”.
Iran has reiterated that it would not take any measure to revive its modified nuclear deal undertakings until the US removes all the sanctions imposed on Tehran in the last four years and once Iran sees removal of all these sanctions in practice, it would revive all its modified undertakings.
Iran signed the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China — in 2015.
Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its "so-called maximum pressure policy" has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, 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 has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- Britain, France and Germany -- to protect its business interests under the deal after the US' withdrawal.
On January 5, 2020, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
Meantime, Biden has recently said in a CNN article that he wants a renegotiation of the contents of the deal before he agrees to rejoin the agreement.
“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal's provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern,” he wrote, mentioning that he wants changes to the contents of the nuclear deal and guarantees from Tehran that it would be open for compromise to strike multiple deals over its missile and regional powers as well as a number of other issues that have been the bones of contention between the two sides in the last four decades.
In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had stressed that the US has violated the nuclear deal and is in no position to ask for any conditions for its return to the JCPOA, adding that it's Tehran that has its own terms to allow the US back into the internationally endorsed agreement.
The foreign minister has reiterated time and again that Tehran would not change even a single word of the agreement, and cautioned the US that it needs to pay reparations for the damage it has inflicted on Iran through its retreat from the nuclear agreement and give enough insurances that it would not go for initiating the trigger mechanism again before it could get back to the deal.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Spokesman for the AEOI Behrouz Kamalvandi said his country enjoys the capability to produce 120 kg of uranium with 20% purity in 8 months, that's 4 months faster than the one-year period required by a recent parliament approval.