Third step: Iran officially informs EU of plan to expand nuclear R&D

Iran has informed the European Union that it will begin unlimited nuclear research and development work from Friday, officially unleashing the third stage of its measured responses to Europe’s lack of action in the face of America’s violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Thursday that Iran was further scaling back its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) due to the inability of its three European signatories — the UK, France and Germany — to meet their end of the bargain.

“Due to the impacts of America’s exit from the JCPOA and the European countries’ failure to fulfill their commitments under the JCPOA and the communiqués of the joint commission, the Islamic Republic of Iran will suspend all of its JCPOA commitments with regards to nuclear research and development,” the letter stated, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi .

In a statement on Thursday night, Mousavi said the third step is Tehran’s response to “widespread and continued violations” of the nuclear deal ever since the United States dropped out of it 16 months ago in May 2018.

He noted that Iran’s right to respond was secured in the Article 36 of the JCPOA, which defines mechanisms for both sides to deal with non-compliance.

According to Mousavi, Iran would soon inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the technical and operational aspects of its decision to suspend its R&D commitments.

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