ANKARA, September 16. /TASS/. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, is still viable, despite the United States’ withdrawal from it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday after talks with his Turksih and Iranian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Rassan Rouhani.
He said that his bilateral meeting with the Iranian president on the sidelines of the trilateral summit had focused on the efforts to keep the JCPOA in place. "We think that the plan of action, despite the United States’ withdrawal from it, is still viable. Other participants in the deal share this point of view," he said, adding that "there is no reasonable alternative to this agreement."
"Russia is doing its utmost to ensure full implementation of the JCPOA," Putin stressed, adding that Moscow was maintaining active contacts over the JCPOA with signatories to the deal, and with Washington. "Naturally, we maintain political dialogue with Iran at all levels," he noted.
He also said that along with the situation around the nuclear deal the agenda of his meeting with Rouhani had included key issues of bilateral cooperation in the energy, transport and industrial spheres. "We agreed to continue the implementation of large projects, to invigorate efforts to expand direct settlements in national currencies," he added.
Situation around the Iran nuclear deal
The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.
Iran pledged not to enrich uranium above the level of 3.67% for 15 years and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles at the level not exceeding 300 kg, as well as not to build new heavy-water reactors, not to accumulate heavy water and not to develop nuclear explosive devices.
The situation around the deal exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Exactly one year after that, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Teheran was scaling back some of its commitments under the JCPOA and called on other signatories to the deal to comply with the conditions of the agreement within two months (till July 8).
On July 7, Teheran proceeded to the second stage of scaling down its commitments and announced it had exceeded the 3.67%-level of uranium enrichment. More to it, it promised to keep on reducing its commitment every 60 days if other participants in the deal were not committed to the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on July 1 and 8 that Iran had exceeded the 300 kg limit set for its stockpiles of low enriched uranium and had exceeded the 3.67% enrichment threshold.
The third stage came on September 6 when Teheran rejected restrictions on research activities. The IAEA said on Sunday that the Iranian authorities had informed its acting Director General Cornel Feruta about the third stage of reduction of its commitments under the JCPOA.
It was reported on Monday that Teheran was looking at possible measures of the fourth stage of reduction of its commitments.