Iran’s gradual reduction of nuclear commitments unchangeable strategy: Shamkhani tells French envoy
Story Code : 804390
Ali Shamkhani said Iran’s reduction of some of its commitments under the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “will be continued in line with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA until the full realization of Iran’s rights.”
Shamkhani made the remarks during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, in Tehran on Wednesday.
He also criticized Europe for its inaction with respect to the implementation of their commitments under the JCPOA and slammed them for their lack of willpower to counter the US’s destructive moves to torpedo the nuclear agreement.
“In the view of Europe’s failure to use the one-year-long opportunity, during which Iran unilaterally fulfilled its commitments, [it is now] our country’s firm decision to carry out its obligations in proportion to the other parties’ reciprocal measures. Time is over for unilateral measures,” Shamkhani added.
He described the US practice of “maximum pressure” against Iran as a failed strategy, noting that Tehran has proved that it enjoys economic, political and defense capabilities to deal with various tensions and challenges.
“You cannot talk with a language of bullying with such a country,” he said.
Shamkhani said the US is holding Europe’s independence hostage, adding, “European Union countries need to stand up to US unilateralism to protect their identity and independence.”
For his part, the French diplomat said he was not carrying a message from the US to Iran as a mediator.
He said that his country was well aware of Iran’s patience in the face of different pressures and sanctions over the past 40 years, and said despite US measures, Iran has elevated its power, influence and position in regional and international equations to a remarkable degree.
Bonne said the French president is seeking joint initiatives for a ceasefire in the US economic war against Iran, which will lead to de-escalation of tensions in the region.
The French presidency's office said Bonne was in Tehran "to piece together a de-escalation" strategy after Iran announced its decision to enrich uranium beyond the limits set in the JCPOA.
Iran also said that its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, which was agreed to be redesigned under the JCPOA, will resume its previous activities if the other signatories to the deal fail to uphold their end of the bargain.
Iran has been pushing the European signatories to the accord, including France, Germany and the UK, to protect the country from the US sanctions, which Washington reimposed after leaving the pact last year.
Following the US exit from the JCPOA, the Europeans pledged to keep the deal alive and established INSTEX, a payment mechanism designed to help trade and circumvent US sanctions. However, Iran says it has not met its requirements in practice, criticizing Europe for failing to facilitate trade, including oil sales, with Tehran.
In May and a year after the US exit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the country would roll back some of its commitments under the JCPOA in stages to ensure its interests.
The Islamic Republic says the suspension of its commitments is not a violation of the JCPOA but is based on Articles 26 and 36 of the agreement itself.