World must brace for US nuclear deal withdrawal: Deputy foreign minister
A senior Iranian diplomat has warned about possible withdrawal of the United States from the landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi made the remarks in an address to the second panel of Tehran Security Conference on Monday amid speculations about US President Donald Trump’s likely withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The US president has taken many actions over the past year to destroy the JCPOA and it is even possible that the JCPOA would be dismantled in the next few days through measures he seeks to take,” the Iranian diplomat said.
He also urged the region and the international community to adopt necessary measures in preparation for a possible US pulling out of the nuclear accord.
The US president delivered an anti-Iran speech on October 13, in which he said he would not continue to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, a central foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.
The next deadline for Trump to waive nuclear-related sanctions falls on Friday.
Araqchi further expressed Iran’s readiness for any scenario vis-à-vis the US decision on remaining committed to the JCPOA or pulling out of it.
“Our region will suffer the most from the US withdrawal from the JCPOA,” he said, urging European countries to take “specific measures” to encourage European firms and banks to cooperate with Iran.
The senior Iranian diplomat emphasized that the JCPOA could serve as a model for solving issues through negotiations and a win-win game.
“The JCPOA must turn into a successful experience in the international arena and the US must also play its role in [safeguarding] the JCPOA, because its collapse will not create a better region for us,” Araqchi pointed out.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Since the JCPOA Implementation, the IAEA has been verifying and monitoring Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal and has consistently verified the Islamic Republic’s compliance.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to hold talks with the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, as well as his British, German and French counterparts in Brussels later this week.
Mogherini warned in December of the adverse consequences of a possible US move to step away from the landmark nuclear deal, saying it would be counterproductive.
The EU foreign policy chief urges the US to comply with Iran nuclear deal.
“I have reaffirmed the European Union view that continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European security, but also for regional and global security,” she said.
Secretary General of European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid also said in a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister in Tehran on November that all member states of the European Union supported the full implementation of the JCPOA.
A senior EU official says all the bloc’s member states support the full implementation of the JCPOA.
Zarif and Schmid stressed the importance of addressing the existing political challenges in the region through diplomatic dialogue.