The plans will be announced on Wednesday, which marks the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Monday.
US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany — in July 2015. He also decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Despite Washington’s withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they wanted Tehran to remain in it. The other parties to the JCPOA have repeatedly announced that the deal is working and should stay in place.
According to ISNA, Iran’s anticipated measures fall within the framework of articles 26 and 36 of the nuclear accord, though the Islamic Republic is not considering leaving the JCPOA as an option for now.
The report added that partial reduction or total abolition of some of Iran’s commitments in addition to the resumption of some nuclear activities, which had come to a halt under the JCPOA, constitute the Islamic Republic’s first steps in response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and European countries’ failure to fully comply with their commitments.
According to the report, Iran is still keeping the door open to diplomacy in order to give the other parties to the JCPOA a second chance to return to diplomacy and quit the erroneous path of unilateralism by proving their full commitment to the nuclear deal with Iran one more time.
EU officials, who have undertaken commitments, but failed to live up to them over the past year, have been unofficially informed of Iran’s new plans, it added.
ISNA also quoted informed sources as saying that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will probably announce the plans during a televised address.
Article 26 of the JCPOA says, “The EU will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions that it has terminated implementing under this JCPOA, without prejudice to the dispute resolution process provided for under this JCPOA. There will be no new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions and no new EU nuclear-related sanctions or restrictive measures. The United States will make best efforts in good faith to sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified in Annex II. The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing the sanctions specified in Annex II that it has ceased applying under this JCPOA, without prejudice to the dispute resolution process provided for under this JCPOA. The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions. Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.”
Iran’s nuclear deal: US withdrawal vs. EU’s inactionAlmost a year since the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran is still criticizing European countries for their inaction in the face of the US unilateral measures.
According to Article 36 of the JCPOA, “. If Iran believed that any or all of the E3/EU+3 were not meeting their commitments under this JCPOA, Iran could refer the issue to the Joint Commission for resolution; similarly, if any of the E3/EU+3 believed that Iran was not meeting its commitments under this JCPOA, any of the E3/EU+3 could do the same. The Joint Commission would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration, any participant could refer the issue to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, if it believed the compliance issue had not been resolved. Ministers would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration – in parallel with (or in lieu of) review at the Ministerial level – either the complaining participant or the participant whose performance is in question could request that the issue be considered by an Advisory Board, which would consist of three members (one each appointed by the participants in the dispute and a third independent member). The Advisory Board should provide a non-binding opinion on the compliance issue within 15 days. If, after this 30-day process the issue is not resolved, the Joint Commission would consider the opinion of the Advisory Board for no more than 5 days in order to resolve the issue. If the issue still has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complaining participant, and if the complaining participant deems the issue to constitute significant non-performance, then that participant could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance.”
The US administration on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran’s export of enriched uranium, but at the same time renewed three key waivers that will allow its European allies, Russia and China to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on civil nuclear program.
US imposes sanctions on Iran enriched uranium exportsThe US renews sanctions waivers that allow China, Russia and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran.
“Any involvement in transferring enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium will now be exposed to sanctions. The United States has been clear that Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment,” the State Department announced in a statement.
In reaction to the new US sanctions, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic will continue uranium enrichment in line with the multilateral nuclear deal.
“Under the JCPOA, Iran can produce heavy water… and based on the agreement, we have not carried out anything in violation of it,” Larijani said, adding, “Therefore we will carry on with enrichment activity. You can either buy it or not.”
The US administration also said in a statement on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions. The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers — Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — to continue importing limited volumes.
“The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates … along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied,” the White House statement said, adding, “We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
Last November, the US enforced sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s banking and energy sector. However, it granted waivers to the eight major importers of Iran’s oil, fearing market instability.