Rouhani: Iran to resume uranium enrichment if world powers do not keep promises

Rouhani said the remaining signatories - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - had 60 days to make good on their promises to protect Iran’s oil. (File photo: AFP)

Iran will resume high level enrichment of uranium if world powers did not protect its interests against US sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.

In a speech broadcast on national television, Rouhani said the remaining signatories - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - had 60 days to make good on their promises to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors.

In response, France’s defense minister said on Wednesday it wanted to keep the Iran 2015 nuclear deal alive and warned that if Iran were to not keep to its commitments then the question of triggering a mechanism that could lead to sanctions would be on the table.

Speaking to BFM TV, Florence Parly said nothing would be worse than Iran withdrawing from the deal and that France ,Britain and Germany were doing all they could to keep the accord alive.

Rouhani has written to the leaders of those countries, saying it will start rolling back some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday, and will no longer sell enriched uranium and heavy water to other nations. “If the five countries came to the negotiating table and we reached an agreement, and if they could protect our interests in oil and banking sectors, we will go back to square one (and will resume our commitments),” Rouhani said.

Rouhani warned of a firm response if Iran’s nuclear case is referred again to the United Nations Security Council, but said Tehran was ready for negotiations over its nuclear program. “The Iranian people and the world should know that today is not the end of the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, using the acronym for the nuclear deal. “These are actions in line with the JCPOA.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also tweeted “After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that US has made impossible to continue.”

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year, and subsequently re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran, including on its lifeblood oil exports with the stated intent of reducing them to zero and starving Iran’s economy.

Sources at the French presidency said on Tuesday that international sanctions could be re-imposed on Iran if it reneges on commitments under its nuclear deal.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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