Iran is willing to return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Europe restarts observing its provisions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.
"If Europe fulfils its deal obligations, we will return to complying with ours. We will do it even in case the United States won’t return to the JCPOA," the minister said. According to him, "it is not Iran, it is the US who is looking to destroy the nuclear deal." "We can return into compliance within a few hours," he underlined, TASS reports.
In 2015, Iran and six major powers (five member states of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China — and Germany) agreed on the final Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which particularly stipulated the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.
The deal limited Tehran’s nuclear development activities in exchange for lifting the UN sanctions and unilateral US and EU restrictions. Iran undertook not to enrich uranium above 3.67% within 15 years and keep the stocks of enriched uranium at the level of no more 300 kg. Iran also assumed commitments not to build additional heavy water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to engage in developing nuclear charges.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump declared Washington’s pullout from the Iranian nuclear program — an arrangement achieved in 2015 to limit Tehran’s nuclear research in exchange for the lifting of UN Security Council sanctions and unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States and the European Union.
On May 8, 2019, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani declared that Tehran was suspending some of its obligations under the nuclear deal and gave the other participants two months to resume compliance. Iran argues that its counterparts, European in the first place, default on some of their obligations contained in the economic part of the agreement, so in its current shape the deal makes no sense.
On July 7, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced that Tehran sought to preserve the nuclear deal and its latest steps were aimed at encouraging European partners to meet their commitments. The senior diplomat voiced hope that in the coming 60 days Iran would manage to achieve agreements with the Europeans on preserving the JCPOA. Otherwise, Iran would keep scaling down its commitments under the deal.