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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Zarif says Iran's withdrawal from scaling down 3rd step in JCPOA probable

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Sept 1, IRNA -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that in case the Europeans fulfill their pledges in due time, Iran might step back from implementation of its third step in reducing its obligations within the JCPOA.

Speaking on the sidelines of Sunday's meeting of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Zarif went on to say that Iran's negotiations with Europeans will continue, while proposals for a third step regarding the reduction of Iran's obligations in the JCPOA have been made and we are in the final stages of decision-making. "If the Europeans do not take necessary measures by Thursday, we will write a letter to the Europeans based on a decision made on May 7 and announce the implementation of the third step."

President Rouhani in his earlier letter has pointed out this issue, he said.

Answering to the question whether the details of the third step have been specified or not, the top diplomat stated that the government's proposals regarding the third step are clear and I will officially announce it as soon as a final decision is taken.

Zarif underlined that Iran has never left the negotiating table and has always stated that is ready to implement the JCPOA and if the Europeans fulfill their obligations, Iran will resume fulfilling its obligations. The action that Iran has taken is in the context of Article 36 of the JCPOA and we will continue our negotiations.

Asked about the reason behind Araghchi's trip to France, the Foreign Minister said in the two rounds of talks I had in France and the discussions that Araghchi and central bank officials will have tomorrow, we will discuss how Europe will take steps in this regard.

Zarif, in response to another question about how Iran would take a third step in reducing its obligations, highlighted that Iranian side needs to negotiate with the Europeans to determine how they can fulfill their commitments and how to fulfill the European obligations is the topic of the talks. "If they can live up to their commitments, Tehran welcomes unless we'll take the third step."

On latest status of European financial mechanism known as INSTEX, the high ranking official made the remark that as Iran has said from the beginning, INSTEX is a prelude to the fulfillment of Europe's commitments, and the Europeans and other members of the JCPOA have made commitments. Of course, we are not in any way putting China and Russia alongside Europe because China and Russia have continued their relations with Iran, but the Europeans have almost severed their trade relations with Iran, and they need to take the necessary steps.

Zarif stated that the actions taken by the Europeans are very clear and have been outlined in several declarations, including the declaration by the Iranian Foreign Minister and three Foreign Ministers of the European Union, noting that the European commitments have been outlined in the two Joint Commission of the JCPOA at ministerial level and several declarations of political directors, so INSTEX is a preliminary step in our view that the Europeans themselves have proposed this mechanism for implementing their commitments.

He added that implementation of European states' commitments is important for Iran; however, what arrangements must be provided to fulfill these commitments, is not related to Iran.

The Foreign Minister said that Iranian side has heard a lot about INSTEX from the Europeans, so we are more focused on real commitments.


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