- "For months now President Trump has said that he’d be happy to meet with Iranian leadership with no preconditions. But our outcome from those conversations is also unambiguous," Pompeo said.
- President Hassan Rouhani has previously said that the third step will include research on advanced centrifuges.
- The interim head of the IAEA is due to meet with officials at the end of this week.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the US is determined to continue its policy against Iran even though Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his readiness to meet with Iranian officials without preconditions. “They announced just yesterday that they’re going to continue to do more research and development on their nuclear weapon systems. Those things are unacceptable,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo is referring to the third step of Iran’s withdrawal from its commitments to the nuclear deal, announced yesterday in a letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “For months now President Trump has said that he’d be happy to meet with Iranian leadership with no preconditions. But our outcome from those conversations is also unambiguous,” Pompeo said.
The United States left the JCPOA unilaterally last spring, and Mr. Trump says he is “pushing Iran” to make it “better and more stable” by renegotiating a deal. Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi commented on the details of Mr. Zarif’s letter yesterday.
Iran has not yet disclosed the exact details of the third step, although President Hassan Rouhani has previously said that the third step will include research on advanced centrifuges. Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency is scheduled to announce more details tomorrow.
However, in a statement today, US Secretary of State Pompeo has cited Iran’s efforts to further its “nuclear weapons program.” According to reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has no plans to develop or produce nuclear weapons. Reports by US intelligence agencies have not yet mentioned such a military nuclear program.
Under a nuclear deal signed four years ago, Iran can continue limiting research and development in the field of nuclear science without adding to its enriched uranium reserves. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that the technical details of the decision would soon be announced to the IAEA.
The interim head of the IAEA is due to meet with officials at the end of this week. The agency said on Friday that the interim secretary-general of the IAEA, Cornel Fruta, “will travel to Tehran on Saturday to meet with Iranian top officials on Sunday, September 8th.”
Earlier on Friday, the European Commission in Brussels stressed that it was relying on the IAEA mechanism to monitor Iran’s activities. Commission spokeswoman Maya Kosiancic said that the IAEA “plays a key role in monitoring and verifying the fulfillment of Iran’s nuclear obligations” and added, “our commitment to the nuclear agreement depends on Iran’s full commitment.”
The decline in Iran’s commitments to the brokerage began about two months ago. Tehran gave the Europeans sixty days to take new steps to offset the effects of the US sanctions. Now Iranian officials say they do not believe Europe can live up to its obligations, and that is why they will violate another part of their commitments. All of this is a complete return to the terms of the brokerage.