Collapse of nuclear deal will not benefit Iran, France, world: Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says France and other signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic must do their best to help the accord survive, as its failure will not serve the interests of Iran, France and the entire world.

Rouhani made the remarks in a Monday meeting with the new French ambassador to Iran, Philippe Thiebaud, who submitted his credentials to the Iranian president.

Emphasizing Iran’s patience since the unilateral withdrawal of US President Donald Trump from the nuclear deal, Rouhani noted that Tehran has remained in the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), at the request of France and other members of the European Union to offset the effects of Washington’s pullout from the accord.

“The current conditions are sensitive and France, along with other members of the European Union, still has the opportunity to take advantage of the short time that remains [before the expiry of Iran’s deadline to the EU early next month] to play its historical part in maintaining this agreement, because there is no doubt that failure of the JCPOA will not benefit Iran, France, region and the world,” Iran’s chief executive said.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China, plus Germany –signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

However, President Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.

On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, adding that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on Monday that the country will surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal from June 27.

“Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilograms reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time we will pass this limit,” Behrouz Kamalvandi told reporters at the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said certain issues, including imports of medicine and medical equipment, passenger plane parts, foodstuff and spare parts needed by factories, which play an effective role in meeting people’s needs and creating jobs, are matters beyond the JCPOA and even mutual relations, adding that US restrictions on these items are totally inhuman and show Washington’s extensive economic war against Iranians.

Tehran is keen to “maintain cordial relations with Paris, fulfill its commitments under the JCPOA and [strengthen] active cooperation for the sake of regional stability and security, and to continue anti-terrorism fight,” the Iranian president emphasized.

France tries to save Iran nuclear deal: Envoy

The French diplomat, for his part, said Iran has fulfilled all its commitments under the JCPOA and added that his country is making efforts to save the nuclear accord, which enjoys the support of the international community.

Thiebaud added that the French government would spare no effort to expand economic cooperation with Iran.

He noted that Paris is concerned about mounting tensions in the Middle East and is ready to hold consultations with Iran about regional stability and security.

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