Khamenei outlines demands for Europe to preserve Iran nuclear deal
29 May, 2018, 13:41 | Author: Kristen Ingram
The Iranian government wants assurances that economic incentives that were part of a landmark deal to stop the country developing nuclear weapons will be protected, despite the U.S. withdrawal and threat of sanctions against companies who trade with Iran.
Tehran has threatened to restart its uranium enrichment program at an "industrial level" if the 2015 pact falls apart.
Nations that remain in the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - held a formal meeting on Friday without the United States for the first time since Trump's announcement, but diplomats saw limited scope for salvaging the agreement.
The move has put the deal in "intensive care", the senior Iranian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Mr Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, because it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile programme, its role in Middle East conflicts or what happens after the deal begins to expire in 2025.
World powers and signatories have since rallied around the accord, which imposed curbs on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of punishing economic sanctions.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said he expected the other signatories to present "a new package" that would be within the boundaries of the agreement, but did not include "any other issues". "What we need is a safe atmosphere for them to do business with Iran, and we expect Europeans to provide them that security".
"They said that they understand that Iran's normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran is an essential part of JCPOA", explained Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister.
The official said that if they were unhappy with how things panned out they would seek a ministerial meeting and then decide.
Trump's controversial announcement came despite recurrent calls by other parties to the JCPOA as well as the entire global community on the United States to keep its side of the bargain.
He added that the possibility of referring the matter back to the United Nations "was not discussed during this meeting". Its chief, Yukiya Amano, briefed participants before Friday's meeting. According to a report seen by AFP Thursday, an International Atomic Energy Agency believes Iran is still abiding by the deal's key restrictions on its nuclear facilities in return for relief from damaging economic sanctions.
In the IAEA's previous report it had said that Iran had informed it of a decision to "construct naval nuclear propulsion in the future".
In Vienna, Iran said it will continue negotiations with countries from across Europe and with China on salvaging the Iran nuclear deal.
The unnamed senior Iranian official rejected any attempt to link the JCPOA to other such issues.
That, at least, is pretty much the strategy that Pompeo unveiled at the beginning of this week, though it doesn't by any means suggest that it'll be a successful one since critics have already pointed out that a lot of it depends on whether the USA can get other countries to go along with the sanctions, which might prove a lot tougher than the United States thinks. "We'll try to cling to the deal, but.we're under no illusions".
No nation can be expected to comply with such unilateral demands, particularly coming from a country which is responsible for far more destabilizing policies, civilian deaths, and weapons proliferation in the region than is Iran.
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