Iran announced on Wednesday that it was ceasing to apply “some” of its “commitments” made in the framework of the international agreement on its 2015 nuclear program, in response to Washington’s unilateral denunciation of that pact. a year to the day.
Tehran has threatened to give up other commitments if the remaining States parties to the agreement do not find a solution in 60 days to alleviate the heavy effects of US sanctions targeting the country, particularly in the oil and banking sectors.
These announcements come amid a heightened tension between Iran and the United States, which announced Tuesday the dispatch of B-52 bombers in the Gulf. Washington has made Iran its number one enemy in the Middle East and accused it of preparing “imminent attacks” on US forces.
As of Wednesday, Iran ceases to restrict its heavy water and enriched uranium reserves, reversing commitments made in the agreement reached in Vienna in July 2015 and drastically limiting its nuclear program, the Council announced. Supreme Court of National Security (CSSN).
President Hassan Rohani said the measures were in line with the Vienna Agreement, which allows parties to partially or fully suspend some of their commitments in the event of a breach by another party.
- “Surgery” –
The agreement “needed to undergo surgery” after “one year of sedatives produced no effect,” Rohani said.
“This surgery is meant to save [the agreement], not to destroy it,” he insisted.
The Iranian decision was officially notified to the ambassadors in Tehran of the countries still parties to this pact (Germany, China, France, Great Britain and Russia).
Validated by a resolution of the UN Security Council, the Vienna agreement allowed the lifting of part of the international sanctions against Iran.
In return, Tehran agreed to drastically limit its nuclear program and pledged never to seek atomic weapons.
But judging that the agreement did not offer sufficient guarantees, US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States on May 8, 2018 and reinstated the American sanctions that had been lifted.
These severely affect the Iranian economy and make it virtually impossible for any trade relationship between Iran and other countries.
Russia denounced on Wednesday the “unreasonable pressure” suffered by Iran that pushed this country to give up certain commitments. Moscow remains “engaged” in this agreement, added Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint, strengthen dialogue and avoid escalating tensions,” Beijing said, calling for continued implementation of the agreement.
In France, the Minister of the Armies Florence Parly did not exclude that the European Union (EU) takes sanctions against Iran.
Israel has said it will not let its Iranian enemy “build a nuclear weapon”, even though Tehran has always denied wanting such a weapon.
- “60 days” –
The Europeans, who reiterate their commitment to the agreement, have hitherto been unable to allow Iran to benefit from the economic benefits it has been promised.
The CSSN gave Wednesday “60 days” to these partners to “make their commitments operational especially in the oil and banking sectors” on pain of no longer comply with other clauses of the agreement.
The EU has tried, without much success so far, to put in place a mechanism allowing Iran to continue trading with its companies by circumventing US sanctions.
Without a satisfactory response within 60 days, “we will cease to observe” the restrictions on uranium enrichment and Iran will resume its project to build a heavy water reactor at Arak (center of the ‘Iran) put to sleep in accordance with the Vienna agreement, said Mr Rohani.
According to Tehran, the measures announced are reversible “at any time” if its demands “are taken into account”.
But if after 120 days, “we have not achieved a result, another measure will be taken,” added Mr. Rohani, without giving more details on it.
- Washington pointed the finger –
Robert Kelley, an expert at the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI) and a former inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says Iran’s announcements are not “strategic in scope” .
“It is not because they produce nuclear materials and exceed the limits (of stocks) authorized that they will build a nuclear weapon,” he told AFP. He believes that Iran is mainly trying to “save the face” while he “reached an agreement that is not respected by the other party”.
“The window that is now open for diplomacy will not be long, and the responsibility for the failure [of the nuclear deal] and its likely consequences will lie entirely with the United States” and the other parties to the agreement, warned Tehran.
In charge of verifying on the ground the application by Iran of the Vienna agreement the IAEA has so far always testified that Tehran was honoring its commitments.
Tehran has so far limited its stock of heavy water to a maximum of 130 tonnes, and its enriched uranium (UF6) reserves to 300 kg and has refrained from enriching uranium at a rate greater than 3.67%.