09:31 GMT28 January 2021
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - The French Foreign Ministry on Thursday expressed "great" concern over Iran's violation of its commitments under the nuclear deal, urging Tehran to return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    "Iran's violations of its nuclear commitments under the Vienna Agreement are of great concern," a spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry told reporters, adding "Iran must immediately return to full compliance with the agreement and refrain from any new actions that could threaten the stability of the treaty."

    Paris also welcomed US President-elect Joe Biden's intention to return to the path of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, noting that "it should allow everyone to return to the commitments under the JCPOA," and that Paris was ready to facilitate the process.

    In early December, Biden confirmed to the New York Times that he would return the United States to the Iran nuclear deal during his tenure and hold follow-up negotiations if Tehran returns to strict compliance with the agreement.

    In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption.

    In 2018, the Trump administration abandoned the conciliatory US stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran.

    Since Trump's decision to leave the JCPOA, tensions between the US and Iran have escalated, with Iran announcing that it would no longer follow the 2015 nuclear deal.

    Recently, the Iranian parliament passed a bill, dubbed "The strategic measure for the removal of sanctions." The Iranian Guardian Council, which checks bills for compliance with the constitution, approved the parliament's project to re-energize nuclear activity.

    The parliament has suggested that the government reject an additional agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on checks if the parties to the deal fail to adhere to it.

    According to the bill, Iran will annually produce at least 120 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium. Iran is currently enriching uranium at a level above 4 percent, slightly higher than the 3.67 percent prescribed by the nuclear deal.

    The bill also authorizes the use of IR-2M uranium enrichment centrifuges and IR-6 centrifuges, while the nuclear deal provides for the use of only the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.

    The bill has been in preparation for several months, but the parliament passed it in an accelerated manner after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of the Iranian Defense Ministry's innovation center. Iranian officials, such as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have accused Israel of being responsible for the murder.




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    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US, Iran, France
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