Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has stressed that US President Donald Trump is in no position to verify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.
Zarif made the remarks on Saturday during a live interview with Iranian national TV in response to Trump, who failed to recertify the international nuclear agreement on Friday.
“Trump is in no position to verify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA,” the top diplomat stated, asserting that quitting the deal is among Tehran’s options.
Zarif further noted that regulations within the American government are not related to Tehran and the US must honor its international commitments under the agreement, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“The American domestic regulations are not credible for us and the US is required to remain committed to its international commitments. The JCPOA is not an agreement between Iran and the US to need Congress certification,” he said.
Speaking from the White House on Friday, Trump said he would not recertify that Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The president is required by US law to certify every 90 days whether or not Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. He has certified the deal twice since coming to office.
The US Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran, removed under the accord.
The Iranian foreign minister further accused the Trump administration of following the agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the region.
“Perhaps, Trump’s speech was more a Netanyahu’s speech delivered by Trump. Our neighbors must come to their senses about who are endorsing Trump’s statement.”
Hailed as a “great friend to the Jewish people” by the Israeli premier, Trump has mended ties with Tel Aviv that had gone sour under former President Barack Obama, in part due to his resolve to participate in nuclear negotiations with Tehran, which yielded a nuclear deal not welcomed by US regional allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“The United States is isolating itself by its policies,” Zarif said, citing the European Union’s concerns about the “Trump administration’s behavior,” which is not “exclusively” limited to the nuclear agreement and “could cause trouble for the international order.”
He also highlighted Trump’s failure to respect several other international deals such as the Paris Climate Accord, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP).
France asks US Congress to respect JCPOA
Despite Trump’s failure to recertify the deal, European signatories as well as China and Russia have thrown their support behind it.
France, for instance, has called on the US Congress not to cancel Iran’s nuclear deal, stressing that it is “robust and coherent.”
“We strongly hope that Congress, which is now responsible for a possible rupture, does not jeopardize the deal,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “If we denounce a deal that has been respected, it will set a dangerous precedent.”
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.