Europeans Neither Competent. Nor Willing to Honor N. Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the European countries’ procrastination in operationalizing the long-promised INSTEX. the bloc’s financial mechanism to bypass the US unilateral sanctions against Tehran. shows that they have neither the power nor the will to abide by their commitments under the nuclear deal.

Speaking in Tehran on Monday. Zarif said that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) was a preliminary step of the European members of the nuclear deal to partially deliver on their commitments.

He added that even if the mechanism was fully put into practice it would not mean that the European Union and its members had completely met their undertakings stipulated in the Iran deal of 2015. also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). or what they promised Tehran to do and compensate for after the unilateral withdrawal of Washington from the agreement.

The extended delay to implement the INSTEX shows that Europeans are neither capable nor willing to undertake any measure. the Iranian top diplomat reiterated. adding. “Accordingly. we will keep doing what we announced to do under the article 36 of the JCPOA. However. whenever Europeans believed that they have to pay the price for preserving their security and take a move. we will snap back. as we have already announced.“

The Iranian diplomatic chief went on saying that currently Europeans have enough reasons to take action and admit that they will face consequences of not honoring their commitments if they don’t abide by their undertakings.

Earlier in the day. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi warned the European states party to the nuclear deal that his country will not be satisfied with a credit line of no use. urging the remaining signatories to the agreement to either deliver on their promises or expect lesser commitments from Tehran.

“We have explicitly articulated what we expect [from the nuclear agreement] as our rights and dividends.“ Mousavi said. when asked by reporters if Tehran will put the second step into practice should Europeans execute the first financial transaction through the EU-proposed INSTEX before the 60-day grace given to the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal is due.

The diplomat underlined that his country is calling for a proportionate balance between its undertakings under the nuclear deal of 2015. also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). and what it receives in return in terms of benefits. dividends and rights.

He added that if the INSTEX and its transactions are a faux thing of no practical use. surely Iran will remain discontent and dissatisfied.

“Iran must retain its oil revenues as much as it used to earn before the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the agreement. and it again depends if Iran’s expectations are met with the total sum of money they have allocated for delivering on their promises and honoring the deal.“ Mousavi highlighted.

“So long as practical steps with tangible outputs are not undertaken to meet the rightful demands of Iran which are legally justified under the JCPOA. we will keep scaling down our commitments.“ the Iranian diplomat reiterated. warning. “We will undertake the second step within the next couple of days if they fail to take any action.“

On Friday. Zarif said that his country is fully prepared to take the next step to further lower its compliance with the nuclear deal on July 07. 60 days after the country demanded Europeans to deliver on their promises. to let Tehran benefit from the dividends stipulated in the agreement.

After his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Isfahan. Zarif announced that Iran is to start the second stage of reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal with world powers as of July 7.

“The second round of Iran’s measures. about which a letter was sent to member countries and Mrs. Mogherini. will be commenced by two weeks.“ Zarif told reporters.

Underlining that Iran’s two-month-ultimatum to Europe is going to be expired. he said that `we will announce our next step to Mrs. Mogherini and other JCPOA members via a letter.`

On Wednesday. Spokesman and Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said that his country plans to further modify its 2015 nuclear deal undertakings to bring its commitments and merits into balance.

`Iran`s two-month deadline to the sides who have remained committed to the nuclear deal is not extendable and the second step will be taken based on the time-table. and the timeline will be pursued precisely in future.` Kamalvandi added.

He explained that Iran`s measures are proper and reciprocal and depend on the way of implementation of the nuclear deal undertakings by other members. adding that it is not fair for Iran to do its obligations. while the opposite sides do not make any practical move.

`Practically. their behavior means that they do not want to remain committed to their undertakings or are not able to do so and in this case. everything is clear to us.` Kamalvandi said.

`It is important that we are creating a balance between our obligations and rights and if they recognize our rights. that is removing the sanctions stated in the nuclear deal. (then) we will implement our undertakings too. otherwise. we will modify our undertakings to create a balance.` he added.

Kamalvandi announced on last Monday that the country had sped up uranium enrichment and would pass the 300-kg ceiling specified under the nuclear deal on June 27.

`Production of 3.67% (enriched) uranium has increased since the capacity was quadrupled. We will cross the 300-kg limit in 10 days from now.` he told reporters in a press conference at Arak heavy water installations in Central Iran.

He further pointed to Iran`s further modifications of its nuclear deal undertakings after the 60-day deadline. and noted that enhancing the enrichment levels could be one such move. depending on the country`s needs and relevant decisions by officials.

`Uranium enrichment can increase to any (purity) level over 3.67%. it could start from 3.68% to whatever level needed. depending on the decision of officials.` the spokesman said. added. `There are two scenarios. including one that entails enrichment beyond 3.67% for the Bushehr reactor which will need 5% fuel. or produce 20% fuel for the Tehran (research) reactor.`

Kamalvandi also raised the possibility that Iran would further use all its heavy water production domestically. adding. `The heavy water plant has undergone a very good overhaul and is ready to boost its capacity. If we do not have a market (for our heavy water) in the next 2.5 months. the heavy water reserves can surpass 130 tons too` – another ceiling specified under the nuclear deal. which Iran has vowed to ignore after the US discarded the agreement and EU showed inaction in providing Tehran with the merits promised under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He noted that the AEOI is waiting for the Iranian officials` decision to go for phase two of modifications in the country`s nuclear deal undertakings. and said. `Of course. the Europeans have an opportunity. (but) Iran will not wait for their action` any more than the 60-day deadline declared by Tehran on May 8.

`Iran`s stockpiles will increase more rapidly and if keeping the nuclear deal is important to them (the Europeans). they should make efforts.` Kamalvandi said.

He reiterated that Iran`s measures are in line with Paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal. and said. `Once they implement their undertakings. the (Iran`s) measures will return to the past (status).`

Iranian officials had earlier warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country`s patience.

Last Saturday. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Secretary General of European External Action Service Helga Schmid. in a meeting in Tehran studied the latest developments under the nuclear deal and in connection with Iran`s 60-day deadline.

Araqchi warned Schmid that Tehran`s 60-day deadline will not be extended at all. adding. `Iran will adopt the next measures or the second step unless its demands will be met by them (the Europeans).`

Following the US` withdrawal. the foreign ministers of the remaining signatories to the JCPOA agreed to establish and launch the European channel for transactions with Iran. called INSTEX. The mechanism is yet to become operational. 

In the previous weeks. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Japan`s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo met with Iranian officials and conferred on the JCPOA. as well as Iran-US tension.

On the first anniversary of the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear pact. on May 08. the SNSC announced that the country modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories’ inability to make up for the losses under the agreement. warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises. The declared modification will take place on July 7 in practice when Iran`s uranium and heavy water stockpiles at home cross the borderline specified in the JCPOA.




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