Iran announced that it informed on Wednesday signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal that it no longer plans to adhere to certain “voluntary commitments” made in the accord, according to Iranian media outlets.
The decision comes after the United States dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Tehran.
Iran says it will stop curbing its stocks of enriched uranium and the “heavy water” needed by certain types of reactors to ensure that nuclear fission can take place.
According to AFP citing Iranian state media stating that Tehran informed the governments of Germany, Britain, France, China, and Russia about its plans by letter on Wednesday.
Iran said it would start resuming high level uranium enrichment if, after 60 days, the signatory states failed to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors from sanctions.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq to meet with the Iraqi prime minister and other senior officials, citing US concern over Iraqi sovereignty due to increasing Iranian activity in the region, Reuters reported.
Pompeo had been on his way to Germany where he was due to meet both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, but suddenly cancelled the trip due to “pressing issues,” the State Department initially said, without elaborating where he was going.
“I wanted to go to Baghdad to speak with the leadership there, to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation,” Pompeo told reporters.
Following his meetings with President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi, Pompeo tweeted that he had met with Iraqi officials to “reinforce our friendship and to underline the need for Iraq to protect diplomatic facilities and coalition personnel.
Following the meetings, Pompeo said that Baghdad had promised to protect US interests, the French news AFP agency reported.
“We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it’s able to adequately protect Americans in their country,” Pompeo said of his discussions with President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. “They both provided assurances that they understood that was their responsibility.”
Pompeo said he made the four-hour trip to Iraq because Iranian forces are “escalating their activity” and the threat of attacks were “very specific.”
“These were attacks that were imminent,” Pompeo said without discussing the intelligence in detail.