Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will start the third phase of reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal if Europe fails to fulfil its side of the bargain until September 5.
“Our negotiations with Europe are underway, but measures have also been taken on the third step of reducing JCPOA commitments, and we are in final stages of decision-making,” Zarif told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.
“If the Europeans fail to take the required measures by Thursday, we will send a letter to Europe and take the third step based on the decision declared on May 8,” he added.
Zarif at the same time noted that the Islamic Republic has not left the negotiating table and “we are always ready for the implementation of the JCPOA.”
“If the Europeans live up to their commitments, we will resume fulfilling ours,” he said.
Tehran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the 2015 deal.
As a first step Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to beyond the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA.
In the second step, Tehran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.
Zarif’s comments come as Iran and France are working on an offer proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in order to save the nuclear deal.
A senior political-economic delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi will travel to Paris on Monday to discuss the French president’s offer.
Araqchi will be accompanied by a team of economic experts from various sectors, and will discuss various aspects of the French offer, according to the Iranian president’s chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi.
According to Vaezi, the offer was raised by France two weeks ago, but “Iran has changed considerable parts of it since then.
“The offer is the result of five hours of phone conversations between Iranian and French presidents, and was developed from the talks between them,” he added.
The 2015 nuclear deal is worthless for Iran unless the country can reap its benefits. “Otherwise, it is of no value,” he added.
Iran has already reduced its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement in two stages, but it says all the measures are reversible.
The 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers, reached when Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama was in office, was aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of many international sanctions on Tehran.