Contrary to how some countries are trying to project the Tehran’s decision, “what we did was Iran’s minimum measure [in the face of the breaches],” Rouhani said in Tehran on Wednesday, addressing a cabinet meeting.
The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — in Vienna in 2015.
However, the US left the deal last May. Europe too has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement ever since under Washington’s pressure, refusing to retain its trade with the Islamic Republic as the agreement allows.
Last month, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal. It warned that in 60 days it would resume refining uranium to a higher fissile degree if Europe failed again to ensure Iran’s interests under the accord despite the US’ pressure. On Monday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran also said the country would surpass the uranium stockpile limit, set under the nuclear deal, from June 27.
Rouhani reminded that Iran’s measure fits within the Articles 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal. “The other party [to the deal], however, has not only refused to keep its commitments…, but also brought the JCPOA’s main spirit into question,” he added.
The chief executive defined the spirit of the agreement as “restoration of decent economic relationship between Iran and the world.”
Rouhani again cautioned that the country would take further nuclear measures if its interests continue to be compromised despite what it is entitled to under the JCPOA.
However, all the retaliatory measures would be reversed if the other parties to the agreement live up to their contractual obligations, he added, and said, “This is Iran’s clear logic.”
‘US guilty of crime against humanity’
After leaving the JCPOA, the US began restoring the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord. It also began threatening third countries, which could potentially retain their trade with Iran, with “secondary sanctions.”
Rouhani said to say that the US has just sanctioned Iran falls far short of what Washington has committed against the country.
“This is not sanctioning. This is a crime against humanity and economic terrorism,” he said, reminding that the bans target not only the country’s vital industries, but also foodstuffs and Iranians’ daily requirements.
Therefore, the US should be held to account in the face of the Iranian people and the world’s public opinion, Rouhani noted.
However, Washington has suffered a “100-percent defeat” in its anti-Iran campaign, which it launched thinking it could compromise the country’s Islamic establishment and alienate the Iranians from it, the president said.
Not only did not the US manage to isolate Iran, but Washington itself was afflicted with isolation, he added, explaining that American authorities themselves have confessed to suffering defeat in their Iran approach and that the world had now turned against Washington’s “unilateralism.”
Tanker attacks response to Iran’s strong ties
Rouhani also pointed to blasts that occurred on board two tankers, one Japanese and another Norwegian-owned, in the Sea of Oman last week as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
“Our close ties to Asia, Japan, and China prompted some to attack two oil tankers on the very day that the Japanese premier was our guest,” the Iranian president stated.
He reminded how Iran launched swift relief operations to rescue and assist the afflicted vessels’ crewmembers.
Iran saves all crew members of tankers hit in Sea of OmanIranian rescue workers save all of the 44 crew members of two oil tankers hit by yet unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman.
Tehran’s humanitarian reaction to the attacks, however, was followed by a “political and propagandist game,” the Iranian president added, saying, “Of course, with the exception of the US, the UK, and some small regional countries no one believed these comments and games.”