The UN Secretary General has again lauded the achievement of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. However, US President Donald Trump has pulled out of the deal. He announced to a media briefing.
Despite the urging of European allies to remain in the deal, President Trump has been critical of the agreement reached by his predecessor.
The agreement curtails Tehran’s nuclear programme; limits that will begin to expire in 2025.
Some media are already reporting that the US withdrawal is a done deal but the extent to which President Trump will do so remains an open question.
A decision for example to end the sanctions relief could scupper an agreement that was painstakingly reached between Iran, the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, Germany and the European Union.
The UN was asked to weigh in on a possible United States withdrawal.
Stephane Dujarric Secretary General’s Spokesperson says: “We’ve seen all the reports, all the chatter, we’re not going to comment on what may or may not happen. What is clear is that the SG strongly supports the JCPOA as a very important diplomatic achievement and I think he is also open to building on the JCPOA.”
The SG has called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action an important achievement to preserve the non-proliferation regime while expressing openness for it to be built upon – something Iran has already rejected.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif says; “Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: we will neither outsource our security, nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith. The U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran.”
Earlier Monday, President Trump lashed out on twitter against one of the chief architects of the deal, former Secretary of State John Kerry following reports the latter was working behind the scenes to preserve the deal. Trump accused Kerry of creating the mess in the first place. Britain’s top diplomat is also currently in Washington.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says, “The president set the world a legitimate target in January, which is to try to address a lot of bad stuff Iran is doing in the region, to try to stop Iran getting missiles, Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), stop them interfering in neighbouring countries and also to fix the core problem of the deal, which is that it expires in 2025 and then there is no way of stopping the Iranians very rapidly to get a nuclear weapon. We think we can fix all that, working with our European friends. We think we can be tougher on Iran but not throw away the heart of the deal which is all about stopping them getting a nuclear weapon.”
European countries remain committed to the deal but in an effort to placate Washington, want to reopen talks with Iran over its ballistic missile programme and its nuclear ambitions post 2025 when parts of the current deal begin to expire. That, at least according to the Iranians for now, would be a bridge too far.