TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Iran had been provoked into rolling back some of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal due to external pressure which it blamed on the United States.
“President Putin has repeatedly spoken of the consequences of unthought-out steps regarding Iran and by that I mean the decision taken by Washington (to quit the deal). Now we are seeing those consequences are starting to happen,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
He was speaking as talks in Moscow between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov got underway.
Peskov said Russia wanted to keep the nuclear deal alive and that its diplomats were doing all they could behind the scenes in talks with European officials to try to save it, Reuters reported.
Asked if Russia might be ready to join other countries in imposing new sanctions against Iran over its partial roll back on the deal, Peskov said, “For now, we need to soberly analyze the situation and exchange views on this. The situation is serious.”
His comments came after Iran’s Supreme National Security Council announced that Tehran will stop honoring certain commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, which had already been scrapped by the US.
At a cabinet session on Wednesday morning, President Hassan Rouhani said the five remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany- have been informed of Tehran’s decision to refuse to continue honoring two commitments under the deal.
He said Iran stops selling any enriched uranium above the 300-kg limit in exchange for yellow cake and also stops selling its heavy water above the limit of 130 tons.
The president also announced that the JCPOA parties will have 60 days to come to the negotiating table and fulfill Iran’s main interests under the nuclear deal, especially regarding oil sales and banking interaction.
If Iran does not achieve the desired results after 60 days, it will take two more measures and stop observing the limit on uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent purity, he added.
The president said Iran will also make a new decision about its Arak heavy water reactor –which was planned to be renovated with the participation of the JCPOA parties- after the 60-day deadline.
Rouhani also threatened that Iran will take a “decisive measure” if the JCPOA parties would intend to send Iran’s nuclear case to the UN Security Council.
“We will not start breaching commitments and waging any war, but we will not give in to bullying, either, and will give a decisive response to any aggressor,” the president underlined.
Iran’s announcement comes a year after US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the agreement, which was signed in 2015.