Paris urges Tehran to reverse decisions contrary to Vienna agreement

Iran's President Hassan Rohani on Tuesday announced a further reduction in his country's commitments to the nuclear deal reached in Vienna in 2015.

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani announced on Tuesday, November 5, the resumption of uranium enrichment activities at the Fordo plant. These activities were frozen since the entry into force of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement in 2015. HO / AFP

Iran's President Hassan Rohani announced on Tuesday (November 5th) a further reduction in his country's commitments to the international community over its nuclear program. Iran to resume uranium enrichment activities at its Fordo plant (180 km south of Tehran), frozen since the entry into force of the international nuclear agreement reached in Vienna in 2015 said Rohani.

Read our decryption: Iranian nuclear: why does the agreement provide for a maximum uranium enrichment threshold?

Under the terms of the agreement, Iran stores 1,044 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at Fordo, which run empty. But "From tomorrow (Wednesday), we will begin to inject gas (uranium in the gaseous state) to Fordo »Rohani said in a speech broadcast by state television, referring to the process used to produce uranium enriched in isotope 235 from these machines.

This is, said the Iranian President, the "Fourth step" the plan to reduce Iran's nuclear commitments launched in May, in response to the withdrawal of the United States, a year earlier, from the Vienna Agreement.

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France reacted to Tehran's announcement by urging Iran on Tuesday " return " on his decision. "We remain committed to JCPoA (the 2015 agreement) and urge Iran to reverse its decisions contrary to the agreement "said the spokesperson of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Read our analysis: Iran's controlled skid strategy on nuclear

The European Union, through spokesperson Federica Mogherini, the head of European diplomacy, said "Very concerned" by this announcement.

"(The) President Hassan Rohani returns on the commitments made by Tehran. We urge Iran not to take further measures that would further undermine the nuclear deal, which is becoming increasingly difficult to defend. "

Russia has also said "Concerned". "The break-up of the Iranian nuclear deal does not bode well, of course", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "Understand the worries" Iran against US sanctions.

Later, the United States denounced, through State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus, " a clear attempt at nuclear blackmail that will only worsen its political and economic isolation ". He assures that Washington "Will continue to impose maximum pressure on the regime until it ceases its destabilizing behavior, including sensitive proliferation activities" nuclear.

New deadline of two months

The announcement of a new Iranian retreat was expected. Monday's day marked the expiration of a further sixty-day period given by the Islamic Republic to its partners in the Vienna agreement to help it bypass US sanctions that have been reinstated since the US left.

The Iranian president has also given another two-month period to the states that are still in the Vienna agreement (China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany) to respond to Iran's demands for lack of his country will further reduce its commitments. Rohani said the nuclear activities at Fordo would remain under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), like the rest of Iran's nuclear activities, subject to the most stringent inspection regime ever developed. by this UN body.

Tehran had agreed to drastically reduce its nuclear activities – in order to guarantee their exclusively civilian character – in exchange for the lifting of some of the international sanctions stifling its economy. But the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and the policy of "Maximum pressure" President Donald Trump's government against Tehran deprives Iran of the economic benefits it expected from the Vienna agreement.

The Islamic Republic wishes to remain committed to the survival of the agreement and to be ready to return to the full implementation of its commitments when the other parties will respect theirs by taking concrete measures to meet its demands, in particular by allowing it to export its oil.


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