Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Sunday blasted the three European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal for doing nothing to salvage the landmark accord after the United Kingdom, Germany and France (the E3) issued a statement rebuking Iran.
“E3 leaders — who rely on signature of OFAC functionaries to carry out their obligations under JCPOA —have done ZILCH to maintain JCPOA,” Zarif tweeted.
“JCPOA is alive because of Iran and not E3,” Zarif added, referring to the deal by it official name – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran’s atomic energy organization also on Saturday rejected the E3’s accusation that its plan to produce uranium metal-based fuel has military implications.
In a statement on Saturday, the three European countries claimed Iran’s move to begin work on uranium metal-based fuel contravened the nuclear deal, Press TV wrote.
Their call came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had notified the nuclear watchdog that it had resumed research on uranium metal production in order to provide advanced fuel for a Tehran reactor.
The E3, in its statement, said that a uranium metal production factory planned to be designed by Iran was well in operation without the Islamic Republic notifying the IAEA.
In response, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) urged the IAEA to avoid creating any “misunderstanding” surrounding the issue, stressing that the Islamic Republic had not yet “presented the design information questionnaire (DIQ) of the uranium metal factory” to the UN watchdog.
The AEOI urged the UN nuclear watchdog to avoid publishing “unnecessary” details on Iran nuclear program.
“It is expected the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding” in the international community, the statement said, according to AP.
Based on the misbelief, the E3 suggested that Iran was harboring “military” intentions. “The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications,” the statement alleged.
The AEOI reminded the European side that Iran has begun work on uranium metal-based fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor rather than resorting to direct production of uranium metal.
“Uranium metal is an intermediate product in the process of advanced fuel production,” the organization noted, adding that the Islamic Republic has already fully notified the IAEA of the fuel production process and provided it with the relevant questionnaire.
The AEOI further said that Iran would only notify the IAEA about its plan for designing a uranium metal facility after an ultimatum it has issued the European trio and the United States would run out.
On January 4, the Iranian Parliament passed a law mandating the country with designing such a factory as well as other countermeasures in response to the West’s violations of the JCPOA.
The law demanded the removal of the sanctions that the US restored against Iran in 2018 after unilaterally leaving the nuclear agreement. It also urged the European trio to resume their trade with Iran, which they stopped after the American sanctions came back into force.
The legislative body has given the quartet until February 21 to meet their obligations toward Iran under the nuclear accord.
US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew Washington from the JCPOA, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. After the US then ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development in retaliation.