Tehran says Europe’s concerns are not justified as the nations involved are not fully committed to the nuclear deal.
Tehran, Iran – Iran has condemned a statement by three European powers expressing concerns about the reduction of obligations under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
In a statement on Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called a statement by France, Germany and the United Kingdom – collectively known as E3 – “irresponsible”.
Saeed Khatibzadeh called on the E3 to fulfill its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and the world powers that restricts the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of multilateral sanctions.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities are fully within the framework of international law and are completely legal and legitimate, and are in line with the legal rights of countries,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
The E3 said this week it remains committed to the nuclear deal the United States has been trying to break since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew and re-imposed harsh sanctions on Iran in May 2018.
However, the three countries said they “remain extremely concerned about Iran’s actions that undermine the main benefits of the anti-proliferation agreement”.
After staying committed to the nuclear deal for a year under new US sanctions, Iran gradually began scaling back its commitments in steps that it said were rapidly reversible.
However, European powers expressed concern about Iran’s enrichment of uranium above the 3.67 percent threshold set in the nuclear deal and the continued growth of a low-enriched uranium supply, now 12 times that of the JCPOA, according to a recent report by the International Atomic Limit is energy agency.
“Unlike the JCPOA, Iran uses advanced centrifuges to produce low-enriched uranium,” the E3 said. Tehran is also being fortified in Fordow, a facility that “has no credible civilian use”.
E3 also expressed concern about Iranian research and development of various types of advanced centrifuges and the addition of uranium hexafluoride to their IR2m centrifuge cascade.
In his statement, Khatibzadeh said Iran was acting on the basis of the provisions of the nuclear deal to reduce its obligations since the US withdrew from the deal and Europe failed to deliver the economic benefits promised after the lifting of multilateral sanctions.
“This is in line with the JCPOA, and Iran has always insisted that if other parties fully implement the JCPOA, Iran’s nuclear moves are reversible,” he said.