Iran is reducing some of its commitments to the nuclear deal as the US ramps up its military presence in the region
- Iran is set to announce on Wednesday it will reduce its commitments to the international nuclear agreement it signed in 2015.
- Iran's official news agency IRNA said its decision will be conveyed to the ambassadors of the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China, who are still signed on to the international deal. The US announced its departure from the agreement one year ago.
- The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran after a series of retaliatory measures and reports of credible threats in the region.
Iran is set to announce on Wednesday that it will reduce its commitments to the international nuclear agreement it signed in 2015.
Iran's official news agency IRNA said that Iran's decision will be conveyed to the ambassadors of the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, who are still signed on to the deal.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will also write separate letters to leaders of those countries, explaining that while Iran has "exercised restraint" over the past year, the country believes other parties involved in the deal "failed to adhere to their commitments."
The agency said the text of the letters would remain confidential. Foreign Minister Javid Zarif will formally declare the decision to EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini and announce the details of Iran's reduced commitments.
The US in 2018 said it would exit from the nuclear agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Since then, the Trump administration has also tightened sanctions on Iran, recently vowing to end sanctions waivers that previously allowed several countries to buy oil from the Middle East power.
"What Iran specifically wants is to return to banking and oil trade conditions before US exit from the deal," the IRNA said.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, a senior Iranian Member of Parliament said Iran's future actions are in response to US pressures, but he added that "the Iranian countermeasures will not run counter to international regulations such as Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," the IRNA reported.The annoucement comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran after a series of retalitory measures. On Sunday, the US national security adviser John Bolton said the US is deploying a bomber task force and other military resources in the region to communicate to the Iranians that the US would respond with "unrelenting force" to any attack against US interests there.
"In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force," Bolton said in a statement.
A US defense official told the Associated Press the White House's announcement on Sunday was prompted by "clear indications" that Iranian forces and proxy groups were preparing for a possible attack on US forces.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unscheduled trip to the Iraqi capital to meet with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Little is known about the trip though Pompeo told reporters the meeting was linked to recent escalations with Iran.
"It is absolutely the case that we've seen escalatory action from the Iranians, and it is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests," Pompeo said on Monday before embarking on his trip.