For Immediate Release: September 5, 2019
Media Contacts: Kingston Reif, director for disarmament policy, 202-463-8270 ext. 104; Thomas Countryman, board chair, 301-312-3445; Daryl Kimball, executive director, 202-277-3478
Iran is poised to take a third step away from compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in retaliation to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal in May 2018 and phased re-imposition of sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 4 ordered the atomic energy organization of Iran “to immediately start whatever is needed in the field of research and development, and abandon all the commitments that were in place regarding research and development.” He referred to “expansions in the field of research and development, centrifuges, different types of new centrifuges, and whatever we need for enrichment.”
The atomic energy organization is scheduled to detail the specific steps that will be taken on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Iran earlier this summer announced that it would renege on its commitments to increase the low-enriched uranium stockpile above the 300-kilogram limit of 3.67 percent enriched uranium and enrich uranium above the 3.67 percent level.
Iran’s latest step away from the deal comes after the U.S. government apparently rejected a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to extend Iran a $15 billion line of credit guaranteed by future Iranian oil sales in return for Iran’s return to compliance with the JCPOA and a return to negotiations on regional security and the future of Iran’s nuclear program.
Brian Hook, the State Department coordinator on Iran, told reporters on Sept. 4 that “We can't make it any more clear that we are committed to this campaign of maximum pressure and we are not looking to grant any exceptions or waivers.”
“The most responsible path forward is for Iran to exercise restraint and for all parties to return to full compliance with the JCPOA and agree to open follow-on negotiations to address issues of mutual concern.” – Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy
“It would be a self-defeating and counterproductive mistake for the Trump administration to reject the plan proposed by President Macron to salvage the JCPOA, retain the strong limits on Iran’s nuclear program, and create the opportunity for further dialogue. The administration’s rejection of this proposal is further confirmation that it is not serious about diplomacy with Iran.” – Thomas Countryman, former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security and chair of the ACA board of directors
“While Iran’s decision to breach a third JCPOA nuclear limit does not pose a near-term proliferation risk, it is worrisome and could be followed by more serious steps if the United States continues to reject reasonable offers for dialogue and for easing tensions. Iran has indicated that it is willing to return to compliance with the JCPOA but is seeking leverage to counter the U.S. maximum pressure campaign, which has systematically denied Iran the sanctions relief it was promised as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.” – Daryl G. Kimball, executive director
- “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action At-A-Glance Fact Sheet,” May 2018
- “U.S. and Iranian Actions Put Nuclear Deal in Jeopardy,” Daryl G. Kimball and Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association, June, 27, 2019
- “Iran Crosses Nuclear Caps as U.S. Builds Pressure,” Barbara Slavin, Arms Control Today, Sept. 2019
EXPERTS AVAILABLE IN WASHINGTON
- Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, [email protected], 202-463-8270 ext. 104
- Thomas Countryman, former Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and Chair of the Board for the Arms Control Association, [email protected], 301-312-3445
- Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, [email protected], 202-277-3478
Or contact Tony Fleming, director for communications, 202-463-8270 ext. 110 / 202-213-6856 (mobile) to schedule an interview.