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Iran Suspends Some Nuclear Deal Pledges, Seeks Protection For Oil Trade

Exactly a year after the United States withdrew from Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic said on Wednesday that it is suspending some of its commitments under the agreement and threatened to resume enriching uranium to a higher level if the remaining signatories to the deal—the EU, Russia, and China—don’t fulfill within 60 days their commitments to Iran, including protecting Iranian oil trade from U.S. sanctions.

Earlier this week, Iran hinted that it could announce as early as on Wednesday reduced compliance under the nuclear deal in “counteractions” against the maximum pressure campaign of the United States, which ended all waivers for Iranian oil customers and sent a carrier strike group to the Middle East as a warning to Iran.

“Starting today, Iran does not keep its enriched uranium and produced heavy water limited. The EU/E3+2 will face Iran's further actions if they can not fulfill their obligations within the next 60 days and secure Iran's interests. Win-Win conditions will be accepted,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran nuclear deal from 2015 is officially known, Iran was selling the excess enriched uranium, thus keeping its stocks below certain caps. As of today, Iran will stop selling enriched uranium, Rouhani said.

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“In order to secure its rights and restore balance to the demands of the parties to the agreement, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no option other than "reducing commitments",” Rouhani said in a statement.

“The remaining countries will be given sixty days to fulfil their obligations, especially in banking and oil fields. If they fail to meet Iran's demands in the time given, then the Islamic Republic of Iran will suspend compliance with the uranium enrichment limits and measures to modernise the Arak Heavy Water Reactor,” the Iranian president said.

“We will begin our two next steps regarding the level of enrichment and Arak Heavy Water Reactor if we don’t get the desired results,” Rouhani said, noting that the immediate actions announced today don’t violate the deal.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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