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Iran may not take third step to reduce nuclear commitments if Europe acts: Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran may not take the “third step” in reducing its commitments under a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal if the Europeans take necessary action to fulfill their obligations under the agreement.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Sunday, Zarif added that proposals have been made to take the third step regarding the reduction of Iran’s commitments under the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), noting that Iran is in the “final stages of decision-making.”

“Iran’s negotiations with the Europeans will continue… If the Europeans fail to carry out necessary measures by Thursday, we will write a letter to the Europeans… announcing the implementation of the third step,” Zarif said.

Iran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.

Tehran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions which were imposed last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal.

The top Iranian diplomat further said Iran would officially announce its “definite decision” immediately after finalizing it.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never left the negotiating table and has always announced that it is ready to implement the JCPOA,” Zarif added.

“If the Europeans fulfill their obligations, Iran will also resume fulfilling its commitments.”