TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven held talks on a range of issues, including bilateral and international developments.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday evening, Rouhani hailed Iran-Sweden relations as “good and positive” and said the trade ties have unfortunately faced some problems since the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He added that as an international agreement backed by the UN Security Council, the JCPOA has seven parties and it is unacceptable that only one party remains committed to the deal.
Rouhani also reminded the Swedish premier of the European Union’s obligations under the JCPOA and called on EU members, including Sweden, to make the mechanism for trade with Iran known as INSTEX operational.
Lofven, for his part, pointed to his recent visit to Tehran, and said his country is willing to develop relations with the Islamic Republic in all areas, economy in particular.
The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is a payment channel that France, Germany and Britain – the three European signatories to the JCPOA – have devised to continue trade with Tehran and bypass the US embargoes.
Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi recently announced details of the country’s “third step” in reducing commitments under the JCPOA.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the nuclear deal but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015, reached a conclusion over the text of the JCPOA.
The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the US policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord.
Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the deal.
However, the EU’s failure to ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments, including an unlimited rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Kamalvandi recently said that the country’s enriched uranium stockpile has reached 360 to 370 kilograms.