Iran Pulls Back From Nuclear Deal in Response to US Assassination of Soleimani

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(TMU) — According to reports, Iran said on Sunday that it would no longer fully abide by the limits of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—also known as the Iran nuclear deal, and will instead “go on solely according to the country’s technical needs.”

Sunday’s announcement comes on the heals of the assassination of Iran’s second most powerful figure, General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Friday and is the most significant threat made by the country since U.S. President Donald Trump formally reneged on the Iran nuclear deal in May of 2018.

The announcement came after Iraq’s Parliament voted to expel all American troops from the country. Those in attendance chanted “No, no, America” ahead of the vote.

Iran has been repeatedly certifiably compliant with the terms of the deal aimed at blocking Tehran from building an atomic weapon, despite the recklessness of the United States.

According to ABC, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s administration released a statement Sunday saying Iran will no longer observe limitations on uranium enrichment or the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium. An Iranian television broadcaster explained:

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has in a statement announced its fifth and final step in reducing Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran no longer faces any limitations in operations.”

However, Iran also said that it will continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “as before.” The IAEA has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Iran also insists it remains open to negotiations with Europe.

As news quickly spread claiming that Iran has completely abandoned the deal, some took to social media to dispute the claims and highlight the fact that cooperation with the IAEA will continue.

The IAEA is tasked with inspecting and monitoring Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in order to verify that its level of enrichment has not exceeded the 3.67% allowed under the JCPOA.

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The Islamic Republic News Agency reports that “Iran is ready to go back to its JCPOA commitments once the sanctions are removed.” Sanctions are one of the key tools the U.S. uses against Iran and are often a precursor to war. 

Regardless, the announcement is sure to elicit a response from Israel, whose government has long accused Iran of continuing to work toward creating a nuclear arsenal.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, tweeted Sunday that he hope’s Soleimani’s death “will not influence the JCPOA which is not already in good condition.” Ulyanov also called on Iran and European partners of the JCPOA to show restraint and to act rationally in an effort to save the Iran nuclear deal, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. 

Also on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people filled Iran’s streets, mourning the death Soleimani.

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By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com