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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Nuclear Iran: Tehran Suspends Certain Commitments, Reactions Flock

One year to the day after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has announced that it will suspend some of its commitments.
The agreement reached by Tehran and the major powers in 2015 allowed the lifting of international economic sanctions imposed on Iran, and in return that Iran had agreed to drastically limit its nuclear program. Not surprisingly, the Iranian decision has sparked a wave of international reactions.

There are those who warn Iran, such as France, which threatens European sanctions, Germany who has called on the country to respect the entire nuclear agreement, or the United Kingdom, which believes" "the decision of Iran and those who on the contrary try to calm the game. China in particular advocates appeasement. "We must stay within the framework of the Iran nuclear deal," says Beijing. This message is addressed to Iranians as well as other member countries of this agreement.

We must not forget that Iran has been a good student so far. Its nuclear program has been scrutinized by the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the reports of the IAEA are final: the Islamic Republic respects its commitments to the letter.

It is the US withdrawal of the agreement in May 2018 and the reinstatement of economic sanctions by President Donald Trump that turn things around.

In the face of these American sanctions, the other signatories were unable to guarantee Iran the economic benefits it expected.

The Islamic Republic loses patience. No more limiting uranium enrichment. This opens the door to a military nuclear program. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's immediate reaction: Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Moscow urges signatories to "fulfill their obligations"

The head of the Russian diplomacy sided with Tehran, saying "understand" his reasons, after talks in Moscow with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Russia on Wednesday accused the United States of being solely responsible for the current crisis. The Kremlin had earlier denounced the "unreasonable pressure" suffered by Iran and advanced the "thoughtless measures" taken by Washington.

Russia is also attacking Europeans, considered too timid against Washington, reports our correspondent in Moscow, Daniel Vallot. "We will first and foremost seek to convince our European partners to keep their promises," said Sergey Lavrov, citing the European mechanism that would allow Tehran to export its oil without "depending on the American system".

For his part, Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused the Europeans of "not having fulfilled any of their obligations": "They published beautiful communiques, but in practice, nothing happened," he said. he stated in particular.

Tehran, therefore, launches an ultimatum: "You have 60 days to respect your word, otherwise the Islamic Republic will renounce to apply other of its commitments".

►The United States deems Iran's announcements "intentionally ambiguous"

While visiting London, the head of the American diplomacy Mike Pompeo judged "intentionally ambiguous" the announcements of Tehran. "We have to wait to see what Iran's actions really are" before deciding on an American response, he said.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, on the other hand, described the Iranian approach as "untimely" and warned that there would be "consequences" if Iran ceased to honor its commitments.

■ What can Europeans do? 

Analysis of Benjamin Hautecouverture, Specialist on International Security Issues and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS)

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