Ultimatum Over: Impotent INSTEX, Iran’s Reciprocal Steps
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Ultimatum Over: Impotent INSTEX, Iran’s Reciprocal Steps

Practicality in implementation of the commitments   The INSTEX, unveiled in February by the three European signatories of the deal, Germany, France, and Britain, was announced to go operational by the European countries on June 28, the day in which 12th meeting of Iran with the five signatories was held in Vienna, Austria.   However, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday questioned the capability of the financial channel to meet Tehran’s trade expectations and said: “today, INSTEX is a mechanism without money exchange and an empty INSTEX is useless. If INSTEX is active and the cash of the oil sales to the European states returns to Iran through the channel, it is to some extent acceptable.”   The Iranian president also warned about the consequences of the opposite side’s ignorance of the Iranian conditions saying that “putting out this fire is possible only with the return to the United Nations resolutions. If they do not want to return to their commitments, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take the next steps in the day 60th of the ultimatum as we already announced.”   President Rouhani added that Tehran wrote to the five remaining parties of the nuclear agreement telling them that the Islamic Republic is reducing its commitments to the deal in order to press for saving the deal.   “Iran’s steps are not a blow to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Rather, they are to save it. Because we believe that if we do not take action, it will fall,” President Rouhani said using the official name to the nuclear agreement.   These comments came a day after Iranian Nuclear Energy Agency (INEA) announced that the nation’s enriched uranium stockpile went beyond 300 kilogram, a cap set by the deal and France, Germany, and Britain and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published a joint statement to express their “concerns” about Tehran’s recent move.   The Europeans stated that “as we always noted our commitment to the nuclear deal is dependent on the full implementation of the Iranian commitments. We call on Iran to reverse this step and refrain from further actions that undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We will immediately mull next-step actions according to the terms of the deal and in coordination with other signatories of the deal.”   Reacting to the EU statement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a Twitter message to the European sides said: “Iran is committed to the full implementation of the JCPOA: as long as E3/EU implement THEIR economic commitments. So moving forward, Iran will comply with its commitments under the JCPOA in exactly the same manner as the EU/E3 have—and will—comply with theirs. Fair enough?”   The Iranian officials have repeatedly criticized the Europeans for not taking serious steps to implement their commitments in the nuclear deal. The frequent Iranian warnings maintain that Tehran’s strategic patience with the Western decline to keep committed to the terms of the nuclear accord is ending.   Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchilast last week during the Security Council’s meeting on the JCPOA said that Iran acted beyond its commitments to save the JCPOA.   “After the US pullout from the deal and announcing unilateral economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, we gave the three European countries over a year to reverse the consequences of the American withdrawal from the deal. But Iran’s good faith and patience were not met but with repetitive pledges from the other parties of the JCPOA.   Iranian actions after two-month ultimatum ends   An examination of the comments made by the Iranian officials about the INSTEX shows that the recent European move to establish the special-purpose financial channel is unlikely to dissuade Iran from announcing further reductions to the nuclear commitments in response to the West’s miscommitment. Tehran insists that the European system should very seriously take into consideration the Iranian demands to continue its oil sales and a take its oil sales cash. But this demand has not been met yet.   Iran’s Zarif on Wednesday in a press conference told the journalists that after Trump’s exit in May 2018, at a meeting with Iran the three European countries said they will accomplish 11 Iran-related commitments regarding oil sales, cash transfer, investment, transportation, aviation, and shipping. “This was an official agreement between Iran and them,” Zarif said.   Now Iran has announced that on July 7 it will increase its uranium enrichment beyond 3.67 percent limit, to any level it finds necessary.   Rouhani said that if the signatories fail to keep their commitments, Arak reactor will return to the pre-deal conditions, to a stage which the West claimed to be dangerous and Tehran could use it to produce plutonium unless they keep all of their commitments regarding the reactor.   In the middle of this situation and the limited chance of keeping the deal alive, the European states, on the one hand, escape forward by warning Iran of the consequences and on the other hand seek negotiations with the Iranian officials. On Friday, Trump said that the French President Immanuel Macron told him on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan two weeks ago that he intended to visit Iran in the near future, a mission already undertaken by the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas but failed as the top German diplomat traveled to Tehran carrying promises largely general and scanty. This failure can be reversed only if Macron carries special and adequate powers to make viable promises and persuade Iran to stop, for now, reducing its commitments.  

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«December 2019»