Russia hopes that the latest round of US sanctions will not force Iran to once again reduce its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, Russia’s permanent representative at international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Wednesday.
"Donald Trump announced his decision to tighten sanctions against Iran. Let’s hope that Tehran will not further reduce now its commitments under JCPOA. Isn’t it clear that nobody benefits from this sanctions/ reductions race? Non-proliferation and security in Persian Gulf are victims," the Russian diplomat wrote in a Twitter post.
Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will impose fresh sanctions against Iran within the next 48 hours, TASS reports.
In early hours of September 14, state oil giant Saudi Aramco’s facilities in the country’s east came under attack. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, saying that ten drones stuffed with explosives had been used for the purpose. In particular, the world’s largest oil processing plant in Abqaiq and the oil processing facility in Khurais, which has the kingdom’s second largest oilfield, were hit. After the attacks, major fires engulfed the facilities but were later put out, according to authorities. As a result, Saudi Arabia was forced to shut down half its oil production capacity, and its daily oil production plummeted to 5.7 million barrels from 9.8 million barrels of crude.
The situation around the deal exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and imposed unilateral economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Exactly one year after that, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Teheran was scaling back some of its commitments under the JCPOA and called on other signatories to the deal to comply with the conditions of the agreement within two months (till July 8).
On July 7, Teheran proceeded to the second stage of scaling down its commitments and announced it had exceeded the 3.67%-level of uranium enrichment. More to it, it promised to keep on reducing its commitment every 60 days if other participants in the deal were not committed to the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on July 1 and 8 that Iran had exceeded the 300 kg limit set for its stockpiles of low enriched uranium and had exceeded the 3.67% enrichment threshold.
The third stage came on September 6 when Teheran rejected restrictions on research activities. The IAEA said on Sunday that the Iranian authorities had informed its acting Director General Cornel Feruta about the third stage of reduction of its commitments under the JCPOA.
It was reported on Monday that Teheran was looking at possible measures of the fourth stage of reduction of its commitments.