Iran will continue to distance itself from a landmark nuclear agreement unless its European signatories honor their end of the deal, a senior Iranian government official said.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the warning Sunday, saying if the European signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action don’t fulfill their obligations, Iran will take its fifth step away from the agreement, the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.
“Tehran has started different steps to reduce its peaceful nuclear commitments in order to maintain and balance its commitments under the JCPOA and if the Europeans fail to fulfill their obligations, we will take the fifth step,” he said, without elaborating.
Signed in 2015, the JCPOA aimed to restrict Tehran’s nuclear industry but U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018, calling it “defective at its core.” He then revoked sanctions waivers permitting countries to buy oil from Iran without violating U.S. sanctions.
In response, Iran and the remaining European signatories — England, France and Germany — kick-started negations to save the agreement. However, Iran has distanced itself from the deal when the two sides fail to agree on economic relief for Tehran.
Iran took its fourth and most recent step from the deal in November, when it began injecting gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow plant that was to be turned into a physics research lab under the Obama-era deal.
Tehran first announced in May that it would stop complying with the deal and gave its European partners 60 days to decide to either pull out of the agreement or ensure Iran could make up for lost revenue for its inability to trade oil due to U.S. sanctions.
Shamkhani’s comments follow British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who said last week in a tweet that the remaining three European countries in the agreement “remain committed… but Iran has taken steps that jeopardize its future.”
The threat also comes days after the United States announced sanctions against Tehran judges, a re-designation of the country for violating religious freedoms and visa restrictions against officials in a sweeping condemnation of its human rights record.
The tightening of the financial and political vises by the Trump administration are apart of its “extreme pressure” campaign it is employing to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table over its nuclear industry.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the sanctions Monday “economic terrorism.”
“The U.S. approach to sanctions betrays a pathological reckless addiction – a condition that renders no bounds or boundary to what the U.S. may or may not do,” he said via Twitter. “And this addictive behavior affects friends and foes alike unless collectively pushed back.”
Source » upi