Rouhani to Macron: If Europe doesn’t fulfill its commitments, Iran will implement the third phase of reducing our nuclear obligations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, warning that Iran would take the second step in retreating its nuclear obligations if Europe failed to honor its pledges.

Tensions have been high in the Gulf since May last year after US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Ships have been attacked, shot down drones and oil tankers have been detained in the Gulf in recent months.

Macron is leading efforts to calm the situation and expressed hope that Rouhani and Trump would be brought together during the G7 summit.

But Rouhani played down the possibility that this wouldn’t happen unless the United States first lifted the tough sanctions it has imposed on Iran since its withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“If Europe cannot fulfill its commitments, Iran will take its third step to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA”, Rouhani told Macron in a telephone call.

“This step, like other steps, will be irreversible”, he said.

“Unfortunately, after this unilateral move by the United States, European countries have not taken concrete action to implement their commitments”.

“The content of the JCPOA is immutable, and all parties must commit to its content”, he said.

Rouhani pointed out that Iran has two priorities: to fully implement all the signatories of the plan, and “ensure the safety of all maritime transport in all waterways, including the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz”.

Twelve months after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal, Iran is slowly retreating from its commitments.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Friday that just over 10 percent of Iran’s uranium stockpile has now been enriched by 4.5 percent, exceeding the 3.77 percent allowed in the 2015 agreement.

It also said that Iran’s total uranium stockpile, which should not exceed the equivalent of 300 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride, is now about 360 kilograms.

Iran has yet to determine, regarding its third step in reducing its deal commitments.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a recent interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper the move would be taken on September 6.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that Tehran would sell its oil to its customers and whoever wishes and screams of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo won’t benefit him, the Fars news agency reported.

Zarif, in a tweet on Saturday, to Washington’s positions against Iran and Tehran’s efforts to find solutions to the US embargo, pointing out: “America has hindered Iran’s access to defense equipment united by it to make its own weapons and missiles and then lifted America Complaints against it”.

Zarif said: “America also hindered Iran from obtaining nuclear fuel, but Tehran also made it and then America filed complaints against it”.

“The United States is now within the scope of maritime piracy and wants to prevent Iran from selling its oil to its traditional customers”, he said.