TEHRAN – Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has said that the Europeans’ action in triggering the dispute mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal proves their “incapability” and “indiscretion”.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom, three parties to the nuclear deal, issued a joint statement on January 14, announcing they have formally triggered the dispute mechanism that may lead to the snapback of UN sanctions against Iran.
“Statement of Germany, France, and Britain on triggering the dispute mechanism proves their lack of wisdom and incapability in the face of the United States’ demands,” Salehi told IRNA in an interview published on Wednesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.
In response to this move, on May 8, 2019, Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. At the time Iran announced if the European parties to the deal take concrete steps to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decision.
However, seeing no action by the Europeans, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step by removing all limits on its nuclear activities.
Iran’s moves are based on paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”
Despite taking the last step, Iran has reminded the Europeans to fulfill their commitments in order to keep the deal alive.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Monday that Iran may quit the NPT if the Europeans refer the Iran case to the UN Security Council.
‘More studies needed on the Ukrainian plane crash’
Salehi also said that more studies are needed to clarify all the reasons that led to the downing of the Ukrainian plane crash.
He added that committees have been formed to study the issue.
The Ukrainian passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistakenly downed on January 8 near Tehran by the air defense system.
The victims of the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.
The passenger plane was accidentally shot down on January 8, nearly four hours after the Iranian military fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. airbase in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad five days earlier.
The Iranian military announced on the morning of January 11 that the plane had been mistaken for a cruise missile.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on January 17, “There are ambiguities in the plane incident. We thank the commanders for explaining it to the people, but this issue must be pursued and reoccurrence of similar incidents must be prevented seriously.”
President Hassan Rouhani said on January 14 that the Judiciary should form a special court headed by a high-ranking judge and assisted by tens of senior experts to investigate the issue.