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Apparently, the Iranians recently announced that they are ramping up enrichment of low-grade uranium and that Iran will pass the limit it is allowed to stockpile under the nuclear deal in 10 days. Media reports also say that after exceeding the limit, Iran will accelerate uranium enrichment to 3.7%, above the 3.67% mandated by the JCPOA nuclear deal.
At the State Department daily press briefing, the official spokesperson called on the Iranians “not to obtain a nuclear weapon and to abide by the commitments that they’ve made to the international community.” Just to be clear, this is the deal that the United States withdrew from in May 2018, so the U.S. is no longer a party to this agreement.
Basically, the United States is telling Iran that it is stuck in a bad marriage but it is still expected to keep its vows, while the United States, which divorced itself from this same bad marriage calling it “was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” ever, paints town red, coz see, divorced already. We hope no one accidentally runs over the cat in the driveway but we are not sleeping well these days.
Via the State Department Press Briefing, June 17, 2019:
QUESTION: Okay. I just want to focus on the nuclear deal, the JCPOA —
MS ORTAGUS: Sure, mm-hmm.
QUESTION: — and nothing else.
MS ORTAGUS: Okay.
QUESTION: Just that. Not taking hostages, not malign activity, not things that are not covered in the JCPOA. Does the administration believe there is value in Iran staying – continuing to comply with the JCPOA, which the President called the worst deal ever negotiated?
MS ORTAGUS: Listen, we continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community. And I think it’s unfortunate that they’ve made this announcement today. As I said earlier, it doesn’t surprise anybody. I think this is why the President has often said that the JCPOA needs to be replaced with a new and better deal. Iran, as evident by their announcement today but also their pattern of behavior over the past few years, is keen on expanding – or seems to be keen on expanding their nuclear program, and it now wants to exceed these nuclear limits in advance of these so-called sunset clauses.
QUESTION: But that suggests that you believe that there is —
MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.
QUESTION: — values in these limits, no? Does it not? I mean, if you look at —
MS ORTAGUS: We call on the Iranians not to obtain a nuclear weapon and to abide by the commitments that they’ve made to the international community.
QUESTION: Thank you. Just to follow on Matt’s question, so while there is no new deal between the U.S. and Iran, you ask Iran to abide by the JCPOA even though you left – the U.S. left this deal. When you say you ought to abide to their international commitments, you mean to abide to the JCPOA, which the U.S. left?
MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. We have made it very clear since this President came into office and since the Secretary came here that we will not tolerate a – Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Full stop. So any actions that they take to get a nuclear weapon will be countered by a maximum pressure campaign by the United States Government that continues to this day. There should be no relieving of sanctions for their malign and unacceptable behavior.