Iran urges E3 to end ‘political blame game,’ commit to JCPOA obligations

Iran urges E3 to end ‘political blame game,’ commit to JCPOA obligations

Iran has condemned an “irresponsible” stance taken by the three European signatories to the multilateral nuclear agreement of 2015, saying the trio should stop the political blame game and remain committed to their obligations under the deal.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday that the three European countries, namely Britain, France and Germany, are expected to act in conformity with their obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as well as the Joint Commission’s ratifications; and to restore full implementation of the deal instead of playing a political blame game.

The Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear activities, he said, are legal and in accordance with international regulations.

Tehran pursues its nuclear program based on the inalienable rights of nations, the diplomat added.

In their Thursday joint statement, the three European countries reiterated their continued commitment to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPOA. “We E3 have worked hard to preserve the agreement. We have been consistently clear that we regret the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of US sanctions.”

The E3, however, accused Iran of making “numerous, serious violations of its nuclear commitments” for a year and a half now and expressed concern about “Iran’s actions, which are hollowing out the core nonproliferation benefits of the deal.”

“It is now critical that Iran immediately reverses its steps and returns to full compliance with the JCPOA without further delay. We remain committed to working with all JCPOA participants to find a diplomatic way forward and we intend to pursue these discussions within the framework of the JCPOA.”

E3: US claim on snapback sanctions on Iran lacks legal effect

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “Following the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA and the re-imposition of sanctions and the continuation of Europe’s failure to live up to its commitments to [help] Iran reap the economic benefits of the removal of sanctions as per the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic of Iran took nuclear steps in line with the Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.”

Iran has always emphasized that it would reverse its measures if other parties return to the accord and abide by their own obligations, he added.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the agreement in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.

Following its much-criticized exit, Washington has been attempting to prevent the remaining signatories – Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – from abiding by their commitments and thus kill the historic agreement, which is widely viewed as a fruit of international diplomacy.

Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.

But as the European parties failed to do so, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal that cover Tehran’s legal rights.

Iran took five steps in scaling back its obligations, among them abandoning operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment.

All those measures were adopted after informing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) beforehand, with the agency's inspectors present on the ground in Iran.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, has said Iran should reap the economic benefits of the JCPOA in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear work.

EU’s top diplomat says Iran needs to see JCPOA economic benefits in return for limiting nuclear work

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