Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

Iran said it would follow the limits of the nuclear deal if remaining parties, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, help Iran mitigate US sanctions. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019

Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

  • The meeting was requested by the European parties of the nuclear deal
  • Iran threatened to continue increasing their enriched uranium production limits

TEHRAN: Iran said it will attend a meeting in Vienna on Sunday of diplomats from countries still party to the 2015 nuclear deal, as they try to salvage the landmark agreement.
The hard-won deal has been threatened with collapse since the United States withdrew from it last year and reimposed biting sanctions against Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
“It was agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in Vienna on July 28,” Iran’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, using the acronym for the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The meeting would be held at the level of deputy ministers and political directors, it said in an English-language statement.
It was requested by the European parties to discuss the “new situation,” the statement added, referring to Iran’s reduced nuclear commitments under the deal in response to the US withdrawal.
Iran said on May 8 it would disregard certain limits of the deal as long as the remaining parties — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — fail to do more to mitigate the impact of the US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
Tehran has also threatened to take further measures.
It has since exceeded limits the deal had set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles, as well as passing a cap the deal had imposed on its uranium enrichment.
The 4.5 percent enrichment level it reached is well below the more than 90 percent required for a nuclear warhead.
Iran has yet to specify what further steps it may take, and has repeatedly emphasised that its actions can be reversed “within hours” if European partners deliver on their commitments.


Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

Updated 17 min 15 sec ago

Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

  • An Iranian official said “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out”
  • He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders to Ukrain or France

TEHRAN: The Iranian official leading the investigation into the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guard appeared to backtrack Sunday on plans to send the flight recorders abroad for analysis, a day after saying they would be sent to Kyiv.
Hassan Rezaeifar was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency as saying “the flight recorders from the Ukrainian Boeing are in Iranian hands and we have no plans to send them out.”
He said Iran is working to recover the data and cabin recordings, and that it may send the flight recorders — commonly known as black boxes — to Ukraine or France. “But as of yet, we have made no decision.”
The same official was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday as saying the recorders would be sent to Ukraine, where French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them. Iranian officials previously said the black boxes were damaged but are usable.
It was not immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting accounts. Iran may be hesitant to turn over the recorders for fear that more details from the crash — including the harrowing 20 seconds between when the first and second surface-to-air missiles hit the plane — will come to light.
The Guard’s air defenses shot the plane down shortly after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people on board. Hours earlier, the Guard had launched ballistic missiles at US troops in Iraq in response to the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top general in Baghdad. Officials say lower-level officers mistook the plane for a US cruise missile.
Iranian officials initially said the crash was caused by a technical problem and invited countries that lost citizens to help investigate. Three days later, Iran admitted responsibility after Western leaders said there was strong evidence the plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile.
The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Most of those killed were Iranians. The other five nations have demanded Iran accept full responsibility and pay compensation to the victims’ families.
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 that was designed and built in the US The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation. Investigators from both countries have been invited to take part in the probe.