Iran fifth step of reducing commitments not mean exit from JCPOA

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday that Iran's fifth step of remedial reduced commitments to the July 2015 nuclear deal does not mean that the deal has ended or Iran wants to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It just means that "we've reached a reasonable balance" in the JCPOA, Araghchi said after attending the Tehran Dialogue Forum this morning.

On Sunday (Jan 5), the Iranian government announced that it has taken fifth step of reducing commitments to the JCPOA.

First step was taken on the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2019, when Tehran decided to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA, based on Article 26 and 36, and set a deadline for Europeans to remedy breaches.

As Araghchi stated, the fifth step was the last and there is no more after.

That Iran sees no limitation to its enrichment activities is in word, but how much the country will enrich depends on Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's plan, the official said.

He added that US withdrawal from the JCPOA disrupted the balance of the deal, and now Iran's steps of reduced commitments created a reasonable balance in the deal.

Despite reduction of commitments to the international nuclear deal, Iran continues cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Araghchi said expressing that Iran will be ready to come back to the previous process whenever the other sides of the deal meet the country's demands and stand by their commitments.

It would be possible to keep the JCPOA alive only if the other sides want to, he noted.

About the Europeans' threat that they will use snap-back mechanism, Araghchi said the end of the JCPOA will begin if they state such issues or set such conditions.

It is expected that all sides would act wisely and avoid increasing tension as Iran did so, the diplomat stressed.

Talking about the US Jan 3 assassination of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) senior commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, Araghchi said such terrorist act did change all regional equations.

All have faced a new equation that is the end of the US presence in the region, he added.

Lieutenant General Soleimani and the acting commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) - known as the Hash al-Shaabi - Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes, separately leaving Baghdad airport in two cars were targeted and assassinated by the US forces.

News Code 191223

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