Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday threatened to resume high level enrichment of uranium if his country’s interests in the nuclear deal with world powers are not protected within 60 days.
His remarks came at a speech broadcast on national television.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated Rouhani’s statement during a press conference prior to a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.
"Unfortunately, the European Union and the rest of the international community could not resist U.S. pressure. Therefore, Iran considers it appropriate to terminate some of the obligations and conditions it has voluntarily assumed under the agreement," Zarif told reporters.
According to Zarif, Iran will suspend the implementation of articles 26 and 36 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, suggesting to freeze heavy water and enriched uranium sales.
He explained that these sales are impossible because of the latest U.S. sanctions, announced on May 4.
"Iran is not engaged in escalating tensions, Iran does not want clashes. Iran is a party to the dialogue, a country that has proved in recent years that it is possible to solve the fundamental problems of the world through dialogue," Zarif said.
He added that if European participants of the JCPOA will fulfil their obligations, Iran will guarantee the future of the agreement.
Russia’s Lavrov expressed support to his Iranian counterpart, saying that Iran is "fully complies with the deal".
In a separate statement, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the situation "a very serious one".
He put the responsibility on Washington, saying "Iran's steps are provoked by the U.S.’ inconsiderate actions".
Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
In November, Washington re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.
Russia, Iran facilitate visa regime
As part of Zarif’s visit to Moscow, the top diplomats of Russia and Iran signed a protocol, facilitating visa regime for citizens in some categories of the two countries.
Addressing a joint news conference following the meeting with Zarif, Lavrov said the protocol will make the visa deliveries primarily for the representatives of the business society easier.
“Today we have signed a protocol that allows to simplify the conditions of travel of certain categories of citizens of the Russian Federation and Iran, especially with regard to businessmen who will now receive visas in a simplified manner on the basis of direct invitations of interested organizations,” Lavrov said.
“Of course, it will contribute to the development of contacts between people,” he added.
Zarif, for his part, said the good relations between Iran and Russia enabled the decision on visa issue.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.