Zarif Says Iran Has Numerous Options on JCPOA
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked the US to remain committed to the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], warning that the Islamic Republic has numerous options on the future of the deal.
In remarks released on Thursday night, Zarif hailed talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow and a meeting he had with the European Union’s diplomatic chief and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Thursday.
“What was clear at the meetings yesterday and today [Thursday] was that the international consensus was based on [the fact that] any move leading to the destruction of the JCPOA or a change in it would be unacceptable and would be confronted by the international community,” he noted.
The Iranian top diplomat also said in the talks, he has emphasized that all parties, including the US, should remain committed to the JCPOA and implement the deal completely so that Iran do the same.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly proved that it is committed to its international obligations, Zarif said, adding that Tehran has numerous options on the future of the deal, which would protect the interests of the Iranian nation.
The remarks came as US President Donald Trump must decide today whether to waive nuclear sanctions on Iran or effectively end the United States’ participation in the nuclear agreement.
In October, Trump said he would not certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement that was negotiated under the previous administration because it was “in violation of the spirit” of the accord.
The Trump administration asked Congress then to come up with and pass a companion agreement that addresses those issues.
It said it would also like Congress to amend the legislation that gives lawmakers the authority to slap sanctions on Iran if it decides Tehran is in violation of the nuclear agreement, outlining “trigger points” instead that set off automatic sanctions.
Trump said he wants Congress to fix “the deal’s many flaws” such as existing sunset provisions.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that Trump would be inclined to authorize another sanctions waiver if he felt that real progress was being made toward the changes he demanded in October.