On Thursday, Europe will miss the deadline set by Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi who had said last Monday that Tehran’s uranium production would have surpassed 300 kilograms by June 27.
Last Monday, Kamalvandi said that Iran had already quadrupled its capacity of uranium production, warning that the country will breach the limit of 300 kilograms set in the landmark nuclear deal of 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by ten days.
He warned then that if the Europeans fail to meet Iran’s demands, Tehran will even further speed up its operations for enriching uranium.
“For Europeans, there is still time, but if they are asking for more time, it means that whether they are incompetent or they are unwilling to deliver on their commitments,” underlined the second man in command in the AEOI.
“When the two objectives are accomplished based on the first step defined in the announcement of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the second step (i.e. enriching uranium above 3.7 percent level of purity) will take nothing more than 2 to 3 days,” he underlined.
“If it is important for European countries to save the JCPOA, they have to make their efforts because the moves undertaken by the Islamic Republic are completely within the framework of the JCPOA,” Kamalvandi stressed.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, after its one-year strategic patience in the face of the violation of its JCPOA rights, the US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, and sanctions against selling its enriched uranium and heavy water, undertook these two measures and gave this 60-day grace to other signatory states which will be snapped back if Iran’s JCPOA rights are observed, otherwise Tehran will announce its second round of measures at the end of the 60-day ultimatum,” he warned.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani wrote in a memo for FNA on Tuesday that his country will further modify its nuclear deal undertakings on July 7 given the European states’ inaction to save the internationally-endorsed agreement and the United States’ increasing sanctions.
“Based on a decision by the SNSC, the second step to modify Iran’s nuclear deal undertakings will seriously start within the framework of paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal,” he highlighted.
He affirmed that the new steps will make the countries which had mistaken Iran’s patience with weakness and inaction aware that “Iran’s reaction to the deceptive political attempts to restrict the inalienable rights of the Iranian people is no different from its response to the US drone’s violation of its aerial borders”.
Shamkhani blasted Europe for not paying any price to save the nuclear deal and its pleasure with the US pressures against Iran, and said the recent statement by the three European states and US President Donald Trump’s game of sanctions are the two sides of the same coin, whose incentives are being displayed more than ever after a year of useless talks with Europe.
His comments came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the European countries’ procrastination in operationalizing the long-promised INSTEX, the bloc’s financial mechanism to bypass the US unilateral sanctions against Tehran, showed that they had neither the power nor the will to abide by their commitments under the nuclear deal.
Speaking in Tehran on Monday, Zarif said that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX) was a preliminary step of the European members of the nuclear deal to partially deliver on their commitments.
He added that even if the mechanism was fully put into practice it would not mean that the European Union and its members had completely met their undertakings stipulated in the Iran deal of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or what they promised Tehran to do and compensate for after the unilateral withdrawal of Washington from the agreement.
The extended delay to implement the INSTEX shows that Europeans are neither capable nor willing to undertake any measure, the Iranian top diplomat reiterated, adding, “Accordingly, we will keep doing what we announced to do under the article 36 of the JCPOA. However, whenever Europeans believed that they have to pay the price for preserving their security and take a move, we will snap back, as we have already announced.”
The Iranian diplomatic chief went on saying that currently Europeans have enough reasons to take action and admit that they will face consequences of not honoring their commitments if they don’t abide by their undertakings.
Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi warned the European states party to the nuclear deal that his country will not be satisfied with a credit line of no use, urging the remaining signatories to the agreement to either deliver on their promises or expect lesser commitments from Tehran.
“We have explicitly articulated what we expect
[from the nuclear agreement]
as our rights and dividends,” Mousavi said, when asked by reporters if Tehran will put the second step into practice should Europeans execute the first financial transaction through the EU-proposed INSTEX before the 60-day grace given to the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal is due.
The diplomat underlined that his country is calling for a proportionate balance between its undertakings under the nuclear deal of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and what it receives in return in terms of benefits, dividends and rights.
He added that if the INSTEX and its transactions are a faux thing of no practical use, surely Iran will remain discontent and dissatisfied.
“Iran must retain its oil revenues as much as it used to earn before the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the agreement, and it again depends if Iran’s expectations are met with the total sum of money they have allocated for delivering on their promises and honoring the deal,” Mousavi highlighted.
“So long as practical steps with tangible outputs are not undertaken to meet the rightful demands of Iran which are legally justified under the JCPOA, we will keep scaling down our commitments,” the Iranian diplomat reiterated, warning, “We will undertake the second step within the next couple of days if they fail to take any action.”
On Friday, Zarif said that his country is fully prepared to take the next step to further lower its compliance with the nuclear deal on July 7, 60 days after the country demanded Europeans to deliver on their promises, to let Tehran benefit from the dividends stipulated in the agreement.
After his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Isfahan, Zarif announced that Iran is to start the second stage of reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal with world powers as of July 7.
“The second round of Iran’s measures, about which a letter was sent to member countries and Mrs. Mogherini, will be commenced by two weeks,” Zarif told reporters.
Underlining that Iran’s two-month-ultimatum to Europe is going to be expired, he said that “we will announce our next step to Mrs. Mogherini and other JCPOA members via a letter.”
Iranian officials had earlier warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country’s patience.
Last Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Secretary General of European External Action Service Helga Schmid, in a meeting in Tehran studied the latest developments under the nuclear deal and in connection with Iran’s 60-day deadline.
Araqchi warned Schmid that Tehran’s 60-day deadline will not be extended at all, adding, “Iran will adopt the next measures or the second step unless its demands will be met by them (the Europeans).”
Following the US’ withdrawal, the foreign ministers of the remaining signatories to the JCPOA agreed to establish and launch the European channel for transactions with Iran, called INSTEX. The mechanism is yet to become operational.
In the previous weeks, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo met with Iranian officials and conferred on the JCPOA, as well as Iran-US tension.
On the first anniversary of the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear pact, on May 08, the SNSC announced that the country modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories’ inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises. The declared modification will take place on July 7 in practice when Iran’s uranium and heavy water stockpiles at home cross the borderline specified in the JCPOA.