Zarif Hints at Intensively Resuming Uranium Enrichment

Zarif Hints at Intensively Resuming Uranium Enrichment

Sunday, 16 September, 2018 - 09:30
FILE PHOTO: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hinted that Iran could resume its uranium enrichment program if European countries did not take action with regard to Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The Europeans and the other signatories must act in order to compensate for the effects of the US sanctions,” Zarif told German Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday.

Zarif called on EU member states to punish companies “if they withdrew from deals with Iran because of US sanctions.” He said that Europeans should decide whether they were ready to “let deeds follow their words.”

He added that the issue was whether Europe was subject to what America dictated or to the international law.

“The question is whether European wants its companies to follow European laws or American ones, or whether it will submit to the American dictates,” he stressed.

According to Zarif, “oil and banks” were the litmus test, warning that Tehran might act if “the balance of give and take is destroyed.”

In response to the reluctance of the Europeans to support the agreement, the Iranian foreign minister said the reaction might be to increase uranium enrichment.

“We do not necessarily have to cancel (the agreement). Article 36 of the agreement and Security Resolution 2231 make it possible to reduce implementation, without cancelling it,” he underlined, hinting at the possibility that Iran could resume intensive uranium enrichment.

“That would be one of the possibilities,” he noted when asked about this option.

Zarif went on to say that Tehran would not “waste its time” on additional negotiations with the United States about Iran’s behavior in the region unless Washington overturned its decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.

“Only when Europe ensures that (the agreement) is implemented can Iran see if the attempt should be made to talk about other issues,” he said.

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