In a joint statement on Thursday, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK dismissed an ultimatum given by Iran that requires the JCPOA parties to fulfill Tehran’s oil and banking interests under the nuclear deal within 60 days.
“We note with great concern the statement made by Iran concerning its commitments under the JCPOA,” the EU statement said.
“We remain fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPOA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all,” it added.
“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps,” the Europeans said.
“We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments,” read the statement.
“We also look to Iran to continue to adhere to established JCPOA formats and mechanisms including the JCPOA Joint Commission,” it added, noting, “At the same time we recall our own firm commitments under the agreement including as regards sanctions-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people. In this regard, we regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPOA.”
“We are determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalization of the special purpose vehicle ‘INSTEX’”, the statement said.
“We call on countries not party to the JCPOA to refrain from taking any actions that impede the remaining parties’ ability to fully perform their commitments,” it concluded.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council announced that Tehran will stop honoring certain commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, which had already been scrapped by the US.
At a cabinet session later in the day, President Hassan Rouhani said the five remaining parties to the JCPOA -Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany- have been informed of Tehran’s decision to refuse to continue honoring two commitments under the deal.
He said Iran stops selling any enriched uranium above the 300-kg limit in exchange for yellow cake and also stops selling its heavy water above the limit of 130 tons.
The president also announced that the JCPOA parties will have 60 days to come to the negotiating table and fulfill Iran’s main interests under the nuclear deal, especially regarding oil sales and banking interaction.
If Iran does not achieve the desired results after 60 days, it will take two more measures and stop observing the limit on uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent purity, he added.
The president said Iran will also make a new decision about its Arak heavy water reactor –which was planned to be renovated with the participation of the JCPOA parties- after the 60-day deadline.
Iran’s announcement comes a year after US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the agreement, which was signed in 2015.