Iran set to ramp up non-compliance with nuclear accord on Saturday

Today marks Tehran’s deadline for European action to salvage the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has threatened

iran deal

Photo: AP/Vahid Salemi

Today marks Tehran’s deadline for European action to salvage the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has threatened increased uranium enrichment effective today should the EU, or individual European states, fail to deliver on the deal’s economic promises.

Tehran is demanding oil sale guarantees to assuage the fallout from American sanctions, which have caused World Bank 2019 GDP growth projections for Iran to dip to -4.5%—the second lowest of any country.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump indicated he would not issue a sanction waiver for a French deal that would have granted Tehran a $15 billion credit line for oil purchases in exchange for a reversal of Iran’s nuclear buildup.

Thus, while prospects appeared hopeful earlier this week, Washington is likely to have crushed yet another European attempt to save the JCPOA. Barring a dramatic reversal from President Trump, Iran’s uranium enrichment programs will ramp up as its ultimatum expires. In the long-term, Iran has much to lose as its economy nosedives. Tehran may ultimately have to rely on the threat of nuclear weapons development to force Washington’s hand—the very outcome the JCPOA sought to avoid, and one that Europe will continue working to prevent through diplomacy and economic carrots.

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