BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb 21
By Elnur Baghishov – Trend:
The next step that Iran will take on February 23 in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action does not mean abandoning the nuclear deal, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Seyyed Abbas Araghchi told IRIB, Trend reports.
According to Araghchi, so far, Iran has taken reciprocal steps in response to European countries and the US under the nuclear deal. Iran has always stated that it can fulfill its obligations under the nuclear deal. None of Iran's suspensions in the nuclear deal has resulted in the collapse of the deal.
“Iran signed a control agreement when it joined the NPT (Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons). Accordingly, additional powers have been given to the IAEA. Iran has accepted the implementation of additional controls, including the voluntary implementation of an additional protocol in the nuclear deal. According to the decision of the Iranian parliament, additional steps and the implementation of the additional protocol must be suspended,” he said.
The deputy minister added that the IAEA's control mechanism will be reduced by about 20-30 percent with this decision of the Iranian parliament.
Araghchi noted that based on the decision of the Iranian parliament, Iran has started to enrich uranium to 20 percent.
"Iran has conditioned the fulfillment of all its obligations under the JCPOA with the lifting of sanctions," he said.
As reported, the Iranian parliament has recently decided to implement a strategic plan to tackle the sanctions, citing the non-implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and six countries and the imposition of sanctions on Iran. Iran's Fordow nuclear facility currently produces 17-20 grams of 20-percent uranium per hour.
According to the decision of the Iranian parliament, 1,000 units of IR2M centrifuges must be installed. The operations have been begun in this regard, and more than 320 units of IR2M centrifuges have been installed.
In January 2016, JCPOA was launched between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions on Iran in November of the same year.
To preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal started in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.
On May 8, 2019, Iran announced that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories that have not fulfilled their obligations. On July 7, Iran announced that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.
Iran announced that it will enrich uranium using next-generation centrifuges and will not mix it with the enriched uranium residues as part of the third step of reducing commitments in JCPOA on Sept.5.
On Nov. 5, 2019, Iran announced that it took the fourth step in connection with reducing its commitments to the nuclear agreement. So, uranium gas is being pumped to the centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
On Jan.2020, Iran took the last fifth step in reducing the number of its commitments within JCPOA.
The US imposed new sanctions on Iran in November 2018. Over the past period, the sanctions affected Iranian oil exports, more than 700 banks, companies, and individuals.