TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the European Union’s passive response to recent violations of the 2015 nuclear deal by the US, saying that instead of expecting Tehran to unilaterally abide by the accord, “EU should uphold obligations”.

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“EU statement today is why JCPOA is where it is: the US has bullied Europe—and rest of world—for a year and EU can only express ‘regret’,” Zarif said on his Twitter account on Thursday night.

“Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, EU should uphold obligations – incl normalization of economic ties,” he added in his tweet.

In a statement earlier on the day, the European parties to the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) said they “regret the re-imposition of sanctions” by the US.

The EU also rejected a recent statement by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), urging the Islamic Republic to respect the JCPOA.

The SNSC issued a statement on Wednesday, saying the country is no longer fulfilling some of its obligations under the JCPOA, and setting a two-month deadline for the remaining parties to fulfill their undertakings. 

“At the current stage, we are not committed to complying with restrictions on the keeping enriched uranium reserves and heavy water supplies,” the SNSC stated.

The statement came a few days after the US administration renewed five of seven sanctions waivers that allow Russia and European nations to conduct civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran but revoked the other two as part of its pressure campaign against Tehran

On May 3, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended the waivers, which were due to expire Saturday, for 90 days, shorter than the 180 days that had been granted in the past.

The waivers permit work at several Iranian nuclear sites to continue without US penalties. Under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Russia and several European nations help maintain the facilities.

Washington also stopped issuing waivers to buy Iranian crude oil on May 2.

Before the US moves, Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, had warned against their consequences.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

The European Union has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures, but it has so far failed to do anything beyond making statements.