Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned French Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiebaud to officially protest recent remarks by French envoy to Washington, Gerard Araud, about the Iran nuclear deal.
The Foreign Ministry described Araud’s remarks about the future on the nuclear deal as unacceptable and urged Paris to explain, according to the Foreign Ministry’s official website.
Araud, who has served as France's ambassador to Washington since 2014, tweeted on Saturday that "it is false to say that at the expiration of the JCPOA, Iran will be allowed to enriching uranium."
He added that according to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Additional Protocol, Iran must prove, under strict monitoring, that its nuclear activities are civilian.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi deplored the remarks by French diplomat, urging Paris to give clarification.
Araqchi said if they represent France’s position, it would be a major violation of the agreement, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“If tweets by @GerardAraud represent French position, we're facing a major violation of the object and purpose of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and UNSCR 2231,” Araqchi said on his Twitter account on Monday.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany – signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against the country.
US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the landmark nuclear agreement and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
In a quarterly report in February, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran continues to comply with the restrictions on its nuclear activities under the JCPOA.
The UN nuclear agency added that Iran remained within caps on the level to which it can enrich uranium and its stock of enriched uranium in accordance with the nuclear accord.
In another Twitter post, the French diplomat said under the NPT, it is "illegal" to enrich uranium "without a credible civilian program."
Araud claimed that there is no “sunset” after the JCPOA, adding that Iran has no "conceivable reason" to "massively" enrich uranium since Russia is providing enriched uranium to Bushehr power plant in southern Iran.
Russia has built a nuclear power plant in Bushehr in southern Iran. The agreement for the Bushehr nuclear power plant was finalized in 1995, but the project was delayed several times due to a number of technical and financial issues.
The 1,000-megawatt plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the IAEA, reached its maximum power generation capacity in August 2012.
In September 2013, Iran officially took over from Russia the first unit of its first 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant for two years.
The construction of the power plant’s second and third phases began in November 2017. It was reported at the time that the two phases would begin supplying electricity to Iran’s power grid in 10 years.