The United States is pushing Iran to “make a mistake and violate its obligations” under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, a Brussels diplomatic source has told Sputnik.
“In this case, the United States will have a reason to declare to the world that Iran poses a threat to international security”, the source elaborated.
Earlier in the day, Iran informed the five remaining signatories to the deal – Russia, France, the UK, China, and Germany – that it will scale back on some of its commitments and start increasing uranium enrichment levels after a 60-day period.
A letter penned by Hassan Rouhani, the country’s president, and handed over to the ambassadors of the five countries, specifies that Tehran has exercised self-restraint and patience since Washington’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the deal last May, and has given the remaining signatories “considerable” time at their own request to make up for the US exit.
“If the five countries join negotiations and help Iran to reach its benefits in the field of oil and banking, we will go back to square one. The Iranian people and the world should know that today is not the end of the JCPOA. These are actions in line with the JCPOA”, Rouhani said in a televised speech, as cited by Reuters.
Rouhani’s speech comes exactly one year after the United States pulled out from the 2015 nuclear deal, which envisaged anti-Iran sanctions lifted in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
Washington also announced the decision to reinstate all sanctions against the Islamic Republic and slapped it with a series of new restrictions, with a stated goal of bringing down its oil exports to zero.
Following the US pullout, the remaining five signatories to the deal demonstrated their interest in preserving the deal and trade ties with Tehran despite the threat of penalties. For instance, the EU has updated its Blocking Statute in an attempt to shield its companies from Washington’s secondary sanctions.
Despite its European allies requests, Washington has refused to provide them with sanction waivers, having allowed only eight economies – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Taiwan, to continue buying Iranian oil without facing penalties for six more months, since they agreed to reduce their crude purchases.
However, last month US President Donald Trump decided not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil once they expire in May in a bid to bring Tehran’s crude exports to zero.