Ahmad Motevasselian, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan were the four Iranian diplomats kidnapped “by the mercenaries of the Zionist regime in Barbara checkpoint in northern Lebanon in 1982,” the Foreign Ministry said in a Friday statement marking the 37th anniversary of the abduction.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani: “Our advice to Europe and the United States is to go back to logic and to the negotiating table. Go back to understanding, to respecting the law and resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Under those conditions, all of us can abide by the nuclear deal.”
Iran acknowledged Monday it had broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by the 2015 nuclear deal, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord. Iran had been expected for days to acknowledge it broke the limit after earlier warning it would do so. It held off on publicly making an announcement as European leaders met Friday in Vienna to discuss ways to save the accord. Iran has threatened to increase its enrichment of uranium closer to weapons-grade levels by July 7. The announcement comes as tensions remain high between Iran and the U.S. In recent weeks, the wider Persian Gulf has seen Iran shoot down a U.S. military surveillance drone, mysterious attacks on oil tankers and Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen launching bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia. The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as making the uranium announcement. IRNA reported that Zarif, answering a reporter’s question whether Iran had broken the limit, said: “Yes.” “If Europeans do what they have to do, our measures are reversible,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, according to IRNA. Zarif did not say how much low-enriched uranium had on hand, IRNA said. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, declined to say Monday whether Iran had broken through the limit. “Our inspectors are on the ground and they will report to headquarters as soon as the (low-enriched uranium) stockpile has been verified,”
“We are open for discussions on delivering S-400 Triumph air defense systems, including to Iran. Especially given that this equipment is not subject to restrictions outlined in UN Security Council’s resolution issued on June 20, 2015,” a representative of the press service of the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation told Sputnik on Friday.