Rouhani warns: We'll take another nuclear step

Iranian President tells French counterpart Iran will take the next step in reducing its nuclear commitments.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, warning him Iran would take the next step in reducing its nuclear commitments unless Europe lives up to its own undertakings, AFP reported.

The warning comes as tensions have spiked in the Gulf since May of last year when US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers -- known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"If Europe cannot operationalize its commitments, Iran will take its third step to reduce its JCPOA commitments," Rouhani reportedly told Macron in the phone call.

However, "this step, just like the other ones, will be reversible," he added.

"Unfortunately after this unilateral move by the US, European countries did not take concrete measures to implement their commitments," continued Rouhani.

"The contents of JCPOA are unchangeable and all parties must be committed to its contents," he said.

The Iranian President said Iran had two priorities: for all parties to the JCPOA to fully implement their obligations and "securing the safety of all free maritime transportation in all waterways including the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz".

Macron's office released a statement later Saturday in which he stressed the importance of "the current dynamic to create the conditions for a de-escalation through dialogue and building a durable solution in the region."

The European signatories have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron, who has been leading efforts to de-escalate the situation, expressed hopes of bringing together Rouhani and Trump for a meeting during a G7 summit last week.

While Trump stated that there is a "very good chance" he will meet Rouhani, the Iranian President made clear that he will not meet Trump unless all sanctions against Tehran are unilaterally lifted by the US.

The conversation between Macron and Rouhani came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report which determined that Iran has gone further in breaching the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, increasing its stock of enriched uranium and refining it to a higher purity than allowed.