News ID: 251452
Published: 0927 GMT April 15, 2019

Zarif's reminder to E3: No ban on enrichment under JCPOA

Zarif's reminder to E3: No ban on enrichment under JCPOA
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) receives the credentials of new French Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiébaud on Sunday in Tehran. ILNA

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reminded the Europeans that the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, does not prohibit Iran from enriching uranium.

Zarif's reprimand in a tweet came after French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud said Tehran should not need to be “massively enriching uranium after the JCPOA.”

“Reminder to our E3 partners in #JCPOA: There is NO prohibition on the enrichment of uranium by Iran under #NPT, JCPOA or UNSCR 2231,” Zarif tweeted, addressing France, Germany and Britain, Press TV reported.

The three European countries opted to remain in the nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump abandoned it last May and reinstated sanctions on the Islamic Republic. 

Araud tweeted Saturday that “sanctions could be reimposed” on Iran once the nuclear deal expires after 10 years, prompting the Islamic Republic to summon France’s ambassador to Tehran.

"Neither now, nor in 2025 or beyond. Might be useful for European partners to actually read the document they signed on to, and pledged to defend," Zarif retorted on Monday. 

In January, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian threatened Iran with sanctions if it did not address what he alleged as international concerns over Tehran's ballistic missile program.

"We are ready, if the talks don't yield results, to apply sanctions firmly, and they know it," Le Drian said.

Earlier this month, Britain, France and Germany accused Iran of "developing missile technology in violation of UN resolution," and called for a full UN report in a letter delivered to UN chief Antonio Guterres.

The EU trio also claimed that Iran’s launch of a space vehicle and unveiling of two new ballistic missiles in February were inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was adopted just after the signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Resolution 2231 calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons."

Iran denies having any such program and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear activities.

In his Saturday tweet, deleted later, Araud said, “As we said in 2002 that enriching uranium without a credible civilian program was illegal under the NPT, we’ll be able to react likewise in 2025 if necessary. Sanctions were imposed. Sanctions could be reimposed."

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called Araud’s remarks “unacceptable” and in “open violation” of the nuclear deal.

The ministry's Hossein Sadat Meidani called for an explanation from Paris, saying that if the case is not addressed, Tehran will pursue it based on the mechanisms envisaged in the JCPOA.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also warned France of adverse effects of Araud’s remarks, saying such statements amount to blatant violation of the nuclear accord.

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.

Last month, IAEA head Yukiya Amano once again reaffirmed Iran's compliance with its commitments under the deal.



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