Iran nuclear chief meets acting IAEA chief, complains of Europe failure to meet JCPOA commitments
Iran’s nuclear chief has criticized the European signatories to a 2015 nuclear agreement for failing to honor their legal commitments to Tehran, adding that the multinational accord is “no one-way street.”
According to Press TV, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in a meeting with Acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Cornel Feruta in Tehran on Sunday.
The European Union was supposed to “fill the vacuum” created by the US’s withdrawal last year from the Iran deal, but unfortunately it has failed to keep that promise, Salehi said.
The deal “is no one-way street; it was supposed to be a two-way path,” the senior Iranian official added.
He also defended the three steps that Iran has taken since May in suspending parts of its commitments under the deal in retaliation for Washington’s withdrawal and Europe’s failure to protect Iran against the sanctions that the US re-imposed on Iran in the aftermath of its exit.
Iran’s countermeasures are “due decisions” made “in due time,” the AEOI head added.
Feruta arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday morning for talks with Salehi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani.
Feruta and Zarif have already met but details of the negotiations are not yet known.
Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharib-Abadi has said Feruta’s meetings are part of ongoing cooperation between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog.
The AEOI said Saturday that the country has activated its advanced 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges for research and development purposes. The IAEA also announced on the same day that it has inspectors on the ground in Iran, who will be able to look into the process of starting up the centrifuges.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the 5+1 group — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015.
Washington’s exit in May 2018, however, the future of the historic deal in limbo.
Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year as confirmed by the IAEA in several reports, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.
As the European parties failed to do so, Tehran moved in May to retaliate against Washington’s exit and began suspending its JCPOA commitments in 60-day stages under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.
Iran has given another two months to the European signatories to take meaningful action to save the JCPOA as a France-led diplomatic process is underway between the two sides.
France: Path of dialog still open
Separately on Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the “path of dialog” remained open despite Iran’s decision to suspend some of its JCPOA commitments.
"They can come back and the path of dialogue is still open,” he told Europe 1 radio network.
Le Drian said it was the United States which had first undermined the agreement.
“The accords... were signed by a certain number of countries, among them the United States, which has said it is no longer bound by the provisions,” he said.
Washington had then imposed more tough sanctions on Iran to the point that Tehran was seeing no gain in sticking to the agreement, he said.