(Persia Digest) - Iran says it welcomes France’s efforts to ease the tensions recently raised over the 2015 nuclear deal and contribute to preserving the deal, which has been challenged by the US.
 
“The French are a signatory to the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and we consider their efforts within the framework of the nuclear deal and in line with keeping it alive,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told IRNA on Tuesday.
 
Mehr News writes that referring to the upcoming visit of French president’s top diplomatic advisor, Emmanuel Bonne, who is scheduled to meet Iranian Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later today, Mousavi said, "We are facing diplomatic struggle in regional and international levels and proper actions should be taken to ease the tensions."
 
"After the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its renegade on the JCPOA, the Islamic Republic resorted to reciprocity vis-a-vis imposing US unilateral sanctions by adopting a mechanism to reduce commitments to JCPOA," he said.
 
However, the diplomat expressed concerns about the different reactions by the parties to the deal when to the US withdrew from the pact in 2018 and when Iran took its reciprocal steps a year later.
 
“When the US pulled out of the deal, we observed no struggle since US act was the blatant violation of the deal,” Mousavi said adding, “Now that Iran has reduced some of its commitments for creating balance between its commitments and rights enshrined by the JCPOA, some states express concern and issue statements.”
 
We had earlier told the other parties that Iran will not overlook its people's rights and will at the same time remain committed, he said.
 

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The issue had also been raised in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's letter to P4+1 and in officials' remarks and statements, he said.
 
Mousavi said, “Despite taking such position by Iran, doors to diplomacy are still open.”
 
He noted that different European officials' trips to Iran are in line with de-escalation and avoiding confrontation.
 
Elsewhere in his remarks, Iranian diplomat referred to US illegal and unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and consequently, the imposition of the so-called crippling sanctions and the maximum pressure as examples of US acts against Iran.
 
Mousavi said that Iran considers such measures as economic terrorism and economic warfare.
 
JCPOA was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the parties to the deal announced the beginning of its implementation. Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under the total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.
 
Last year, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington would unilaterally quit the landmark accord. Anti-Iranian sanctions, including a ban on purchasing oil, were reinstated in November.
 
After the US’ withdrawal, the European signatories of the deal said they were still trying to keep the accord alive by launching the long-awaited INSTEX to help Iran reap some benefits from the deal.
 
Iran says the Europeans have not done enough to save the nuclear deal, and the US violation of the JCPOA has barred Tehran from benefiting from the economic dividends of the pact.
 
In response to EU’s inaction, Iran has introduced two phases of its measures to reduce its JCPOA commitments. Tehran's moves come after its "strategic patience" wore thin after a year of waiting for the European nations to normalize trade ties with Iran.

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