Iran on Wednesday said it has suspended the implementation of some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. The Iranian government said this decision has been communicated to the five signatories of the deal, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, the Tehran Times reported. The United States had pulled out of the deal last year.
Ambassadors of France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China received a letter written by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the daily said.
Rouhani announced that Iran will stop selling stockpiles of enriched uranium and heavy water for 60 days. Under the 2015 agreement, Iran was allowed to keep only 300 kilograms of enriched uranium, and had to exchange heavy water for yellow cake. Yellow cake is a uranium concentrate powder used in an intermediate step in manufacturing uranium ores.
“This announcement is for 60 days,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting. “We have announced to the other side, the five countries [Germany, France, UK, Russia and China], that if they come to the negotiating table in 60 days and we reach a conclusion and safeguard our main interests which are oil [sale] and banking relations, we will return to the previous situation of May 7, 2019.” However, if no agreement is reached, he said, Iran will resume uranium enrichment, and not follow obligations under the 2015 deal which impose a limit on the purity level of the enriched mineral.
Tehran said in the letter that it has decided to cut back its commitments to “safeguard the nation’s security and interests”. The Rouhani government claimed that the five countries had failed “practical measures” to reduce the impact of the economic sanctions that the US reimposed on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal.
In response, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran’s letter is “intentionally vague”, and that its threats of further action are “in order to get the world to jump”, CNN reported. Pompeo, addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in London, said the US will “wait and see what Iran’s actions really are”.
Hunt, on the other hand, warned Iran that “there will be consequences” if it does not comply with the agreement. “I’m sure I speak for my European colleagues in that respect as well,” he said, with reference to France and Germany. “This is a very big moment for Iran.”
Last month, United States President Donald Trump decided not to renew waivers that allowed eight countries, including India, to buy oil from Iran without facing sanctions. Washington also designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In response, the Iranian Parliament voted to declare the United States military a terrorist organisation.