Iran announced Sunday that it is ending all its commitments under the nuclear deal, effectively marking the complete demise of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The state terror sponsor said it will no longer abide by the restrictions on uranium enrichment or nuclear research and development. However, Iran assured that it would be willing to rejoin the nuclear deal if the U.S. lifts sanctions against the country.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the Iranian government said in a statement. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”
The move is part of Iran’s retaliation to a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on Thursday that killed general Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force. U.S. officials said Friday that they believed Soleimani had been plotting “imminent attacks” on U.S. facilities in the surrounding region that could have killed hundreds of Americans, though multiple reports citing senior diplomatic and military officials have contradicted the claim that an imminent threat had emerged in the days before the airstrike.
The deadly U.S. drone strike, which also killed terrorist Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, came after Iran-backed militiamen attacked and destroyed parts of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Iran has moved steadily away from the requirements of the nuclear deal since May of last year when President Trump pulled out of the agreement, which was signed by the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, China, and Russia and gave Tehran billions of dollars in relief from sanctions in exchange for a promise to curb its nuclear program.
The war-torn country, which insists it is not working towards building a nuclear arsenal, announced the first major breach of the deal in July when it boosted uranium enrichment to upwards of 4.5 percent, exceeding the JCPOA’s 3.67 percent limit while remaining far short of the 90 percent required to construct a nuclear weapon.