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Iran to make ‘third step’ in scaling down commitments under 2015 nuclear deal – FM

Iran to make ‘third step’ in scaling down commitments under 2015 nuclear deal – FM
Tehran is ready for the next phase of reducing its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement, as the US ramps up sanctions against the country and its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“The third step in reducing commitments will be implemented in the current situation,” Zarif said on Saturday, as quoted by local media.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. In early May, Iran gave the EU countries, which are also signatories of the deal, 60 days to negotiate sanctions relief. If that does not happen, the nation will gradually reduce its obligations under the JCPOA, Iranian officials said.

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In late June, Iran enacted the ‘first phase’ of scaling down its obligations by exceeding its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the 300kg limit, which was set by the JCPOA. The ‘second phase’ – exceeding the uranium enrichment level beyond the 3.67 percent threshold set by the deal – was completed last month.

Zarif did not specify what the ‘third step’ will be, but Iran had earlier threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and the enrichment the uranium stockpiles to 20 percent purity.

If the JCPOA continues to be breached by other parties, Iran “will also implement it in the same incomplete manner,” Zarif stressed.

On Wednesday, the US Treasury placed sanctions on Zarif for promoting “the reckless agenda” of Iranian leadership, and being “the regime’s primary spokesperson around the world.” Zarif blasted the move as “paranoia.”

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