TEHRAN, January 9. /TASS/. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has indicated that his country is striving to strengthen the nuclear deal, the statement was made in a phone call with Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, on Thursday.
"Iran is just as Europe seeking to achieve regional stability and reinforce the nuclear deal," Rouhani’s press service quotes him as saying. According to the Iranian leader, "it is vital for Tehran that Europe, China and Russia play an important role in preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and protect Iran’s interests."
The JCPOA was signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France) and Germany in 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.
Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. A year later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran 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. Since then, Iranian authorities have shed their commitments on a number of occasions.
On January 5, Iran announced its final step in scaling back on the commitments to the 2015 deal. Tehran’s latest move means that Iran will no longer abide by JCPOA-set limitations on the number of centrifuges required to enrich uranium.