SHAFAQNA- Iran starts injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment facility on Wednesday, in the latest step the country is scaling back from a 2015 multinational nuclear deal in response to the United States withdrawal.
Few hours after President Rouhani’s announcement, ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iran in Vienna Kazem Gharibabadi said that Iran has sent a letter to the IAEA to notify them on Tehran’s decision to further scale back nuclear deal commitments by injecting gas into Fordwo facility.
He added that in this letter, the Islamic Republic of Iran has noted IAEA its intention to begin the UF6 gas feeding at the Fordow facility from Wednesday and asked the Agency for its inspectors to monitor the process by attending the facility at the specified time, The Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Moreover, President Hassan Rouhani at an unveiling ceremony of a development project in Tehran said that Iran will take the fourth step of reducing commitments to the JCPOA.
In a Tuesday speech which was broadcasted live on TV, Rouhani said the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will be ordered to begin the gas injection process at the Fordow nuclear facility — where 1,044 centrifuges are installed — under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday, according to Press TV.
He further said that Iran will go back to the past situation only if the other parties come to terms with the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and lift the sanctions.
Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad in a Twitter message called on the remaining signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to abide by their commitments.
“Iran, in its 4th step of reducing its commitments, will feed the centrifuges at the Fordow facility with gas,” Baeidinejad wrote in his Twitter account on Tuesday.
He added: “This measure would be implemented under IAEA monitoring and would be reversible if other parties decide to implement their shares of commitments under the nuclear deal.”
Earlier, President Hassan Rouhani announced Iran will take the fourth step of reducing commitments to the JCPOA as of November 6.
Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to repurpose its Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant as a center for the production of stable isotopes, which have important applications in industry, agriculture and medicine.
The deal allowed the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at Fordow to spin without uranium gas, while over 5,000 at Iran’s Natanz facility could enrich uranium.
Despite the US’s abrupt exit from the Iran deal, Tehran remained fully compliant with the international document, giving time to the remaining co-signatories to fulfill their legal undertakings and protect Iran’s economy against the reinstated US bans.
Iran, however, began to gradually reduce its JCPOA commitments after the three European parties failed to put their verbal support for the deal into action.
The reciprocal measures are in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
Rouhani gave another two-month deadline to Britain, France and Germany to salvage the deal by protecting Iran’s economy from U.S. sanctions reimposed in May after Washington’s withdrawal from the deal.
“We can’t unilaterally accept that we completely fulfill our commitments and they don’t follow up on their commitments,” Rouhani said , telesurenglish told.
It is noteworthy that Iran’s fourth 60-day ultimatum to remaining parties to the nuclear deal to live up to their own commitments to the JCPOA ended today while they did not take any practical steps to meet Iran’s demands.
As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to a level above the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA.
In the second step, Tehran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent, mehrnews mentioned.
Furthermore, Tehran lifted all restrictions on nuclear research and development and announced it would use advanced centrifuges as its third step. Each time Iran gives a 60-day deadline to the other parties before taking its next step.