On the eve of the first anniversary of the United States withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (see Trump and Trade Update dated May 8, 2018), the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that it “has shown considerable restraint in the past one year after the illegal withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions.” In a statement from its Supreme National Security Council, Iran noted that the parties remaining in the JCPOA since the U.S. withdrawal have not established any mechanisms “to compensate for US sanctions” and that it has no option other than “reducing commitments.”

Iran has indicated that it may not continue to commit to limits imposed on its retention of enriched uranium and heavy water reserves. The statement indicates that the remaining JCPOA countries “will be given sixty days to fulfill their obligations, especially in banking and oil fields. If they fail to meet Iran’s demands in the time given, then the Islamic Republic of Iran will suspend compliance with the uranium enrichment limits and measures to modernise the Arak Heavy Water Reactor.”

In response to Iran’s announcement, the U.S. Department of State issued a press statement on President Trump’s New Iran Strategy, indicating that one year after withdrawing from the JCPOA, “President Trump has made good on his promise to counter Iran in a comprehensive campaign of maximum pressure.” It notes that Iran’s announcement it intends to expand its nuclear program “is in defiance of international norms and a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage. Its threat to renew nuclear work that could shorten the time to develop a nuclear weapon underscores the continuing challenge the Iranian regime poses to peace and security worldwide.”