17:37 GMT25 October 2020
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    Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would give the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal 60 more days to fulfil their obligations before proceeding to the third stage of reducing Iran's commitments under the landmark treaty.

    Iran "will revert" to its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal immediately if its European signatories implement their part of the agreement, regardless of US participation, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has announced.

    Speaking on Wednesday at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the Iranian foreign minister stressed that Iran's steps to scale back its commitments "can be reversed within hours" if the nuclear deal's European signatories, including France, the UK, Germany and the European Union make good on their promises to work to find ways to take the sting off US sanctions following Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the treaty in 2018.

    Tehran, Zarif stressed, continues to see the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a "cornerstone of international legality," and will continue to be committed to nuclear non-proliferation. As for the JCPOA, Zarif emphasised that Iran still sees the treaty as a "good agreement."

    Warning about the dangers he said were posed by the Trump administration's "unpredictable" policies, Zarif noted that Iran may act "unpredictably" in response.

    "Mutual unpredictability will lead to chaos. President Trump cannot expect to be unpredictable and expect others to be predictable," the foreign minister said.

    Touching on the Persian Gulf crisis and the US-led maritime coalition being formed in the region, and US allies' commitments to continue the purchase of billions of dollars in US weaponry, Zarif said no amount of foreign weapons or troops can secure the fragile region.

    "Gulf Arabs cannot achieve security (in the region) by spending billions of dollars on purchasing Western weapons...No amount of foreign military presence (in the Gulf) can prevent insecurity," he said, his remarks quoted by Reuters.

    Last Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would give other JCPOA signatures two more months before proceeding to "the third stage" of exiting its commitments under the deal. In May, on the one year anniversary of the US's withdrawal from the deal, Iran announced that it would begin gradually suspending its obligations under the JCPOA until its other signatories, including Russia, China, and the European powers could find a way to save the accord.

    Specifically, Iran is calling on the deal's European signatories to find mechanisms to bypass the crushing sanctions imposed by the US, which have threatened all foreign countries doing business with Tehran, and imposed tough restrictions on Iran's banking and energy sectors. The latter prompted most of Iran's traditional major crude oil importers to halt purchases, putting major pressure on the country's economy.

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