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  • Iran, Russia FMs urge Europeans to fulfill obligations for JCPOA survival

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a joint press conference with Sergei Lavrov. File Photo Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a joint press conference with Sergei Lavrov.

    Tehran and Moscow have called on the European sides to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to comply with their commitments to guarantee the survival of the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    After holding talks with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a joint press conference with Sergei Lavrov, during which he said the nuclear deal's survival could be guaranteed if the agreement's European signatories fulfilled their obligations, which he said they had yet to fully honor.

    Russia and China have fulfilled their obligations “but other countries, particularly the European sides to the JCPOA, have failed to honor their commitments," said Zarif.

    "There's now a short window of time when other signatories of the pact, and in particular European countries … can honor the obligations. If these commitments are honored we can guarantee the continued survival of the JCPOA,” he added.

    The Iranian foreign minister also defended Tehran’s recent decision to diminish its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

    “Despite US measures over the last year, the Islamic Republic of Iran has remained committed to its obligations under the JCPOA. The decision that the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken today is to implement the JCPOA and it is not in contravention of it,” he said.

    “The measures that we suspended are those in line with the articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, to which we are entitled,” he added.

    Zarif noted that the new US sanctions announced in May 4 in fact made it impossible for Iran to implement the articles, which indicated Washington’s decision to continue with its “destructive” policy.

    For his part, Lavrov agreed, calling on Britain, Germany and France to fulfill their obligations under the deal.

    "We will call on them, as we have done before, to concentrate on implementing everything that is enshrined in the JCPOA and approved by the UN Security Council,” he said.

    He said it was crucial for the nuclear pact's signatories to hold consultations to ensure the agreement survived.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Iran informed the five remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal of its decision to suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the JCPOA, exactly one year after the United States unilaterally abandoned the international document.

    The ambassadors of France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China received a letter penned by President Rouhani elaborating the suspension of some of Iran's commitments under the JCPOA.

    The letter was handed over by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi to the ambassadors of the five countries, who had been invited to the Foreign Ministry. The document specifies the details of the decision taken by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), which is chaired by President Rouhani.

    Sources close to Iran’s presidency said the country could exit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if its nuclear program ‎case was referred to the UN Security Council.

    Meanwhile, the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces also voiced strong support for Iran’s decision, vowing to give a strong response to any possible move by enemies.

    The forces said in a statement on Wednesday that Iran had acted based on the three principles of “dignity, prudence and expediency” in line with the JCPOA and was “determined to take appropriate measures in this regard with full authority to protect the rights of the Iranian nation.”

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