Iran says has no plan to leave nuke deal

Tehran, Dec 5 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/5/2019 12:14:05 PM IST

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country has no plan to leave the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal despite reducing its commitments under the accord, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

The Islamic Republic has decided to reduce its commitments because the European countries have failed to fulfill their commitments to protect Iran’s economic interests under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Araqchi said at a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tokyo on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Our goal is not to leave the JCPOA ... In case the (US) sanctions are lifted and Iran enjoys the benefits of this agreement, we will return to the JCPOA commitments,” Araqchi, who has also served a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, said.

In a reaction to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and in a response to the Europeans’ sluggishness in facilitating Iran’s banking transactions and its oil exports, the Islamic republic, since seven months ago, has made staged moves to drop its commitments under the JCPOA.

Beside the recent move to begin enrichment activities in underground Fordow nuclear facility, Iran has started to build stockpiles of nuclear fuel and enrich low-grade uranium to a higher level of purity. It also started up advanced centrifuges to boost the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium and research activities, all of which had been restricted by the nuclear accord.

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