TEHRAN – Iran announced on Sunday it would raise its uranium enrichment level beyond the 3.67-percent level, marking the second violation of the 2015 nuclear deal but the Foreign Minister said this could be reversed if European countries upheld their commitments.
“Today, Iran is taking its second round of remedial steps under Para 36 of the JCPOA.
“We reserve the right to continue to exercise legal remedies within JCPOA to protect our interests in the face of US #EconomicTerrorism.
“All such steps are reversible only through E3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) compliance,” Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, tweeted.
“Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA–including after US withdrawal–EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, including at IAEA.
“E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter US unilateralism,” Zarif added.
The Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, confirmed Iran would raise its uranium enrichment levels a joint press conference with Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, saying the enrichment levels would stand at 5 percent for now.
“At this phase, Iran’s moves will be meant to supply power sources and research needs,” Kamalvandi said, according to state-run IRNA news agency.
Earlier this week, Iran had exceeded the limit of 300 kilograms on its low-enriched uranium reserve set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Araghchi, meanwhile, reiterated that the Islamic Republic wants “the JCPOA to continue; however, our, demands from the document must be met.”
“Otherwise, we will reconsider our commitments to it, and if the Europeans do not satisfy our demands, we will take steps toward that,” he said.
United States President Donald Trump abandoned last year the pact it had signed with Iran along with Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom as co-signatories and began imposing strict sanctions on Tehran.
The remaining powers then attempted to keep the JCPOA alive by establishing the Instex in January to facilitate trading with the Islamic republic without violating US sanctions.
Washington criticized the trade mechanism and demanded the EU withdraw from the agreement, considering Iran a threat to peace in the Middle East.
On May 8, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned his country would begin to withdraw from key aspects of the agreement if global powers failed to keep their commitments within the next 60 days.
With Washington toughening its sanctions on the Islamic republic, Rouhani issued a 60-day moratorium for the rest of the signatories of the pact to fulfill Iran’s demands and save the country’s banking system and oil trade from international sanctions.
The 2015 agreement placed strict limits on Iran’s nuclear program in order to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons, in return for lifting sanctions that had strangled its economy.