Friday, 19 January, 2018

Russia, Iran reaffirm commitment to nuclear deal

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehra Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehra
Elsie Buchanan | 13 January, 2018, 02:25

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called on the United States to consider the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a separate issue from Tehran's ballistic weapons programme and its role in Syria's civil war.

President Donald Trump will expand sanction relief for Iran this week, while targeting only a few Iranian businesses and persons with new sanctions under the nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, according to the Associated Press.

In October, President Donald Trump refused to certify the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, calling the country a sponsor of global terror.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) shakes hands with his British counterpart Boris Johnson during a meeting in Tehran on December 9, 2017.

The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini insisted the Iran deal "is working".

"The unity of the worldwide community is essential to preserve a deal that is working, that is making the world safer, and that is preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region, and we expect all parties to continue to fully implement this agreement", she said.

Mr Trump formally rejected the deal in October, although the United States has not yet pulled out.

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The main focus of the talks, which will also be attended by French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel and European Union high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini, will be the nuclear deal.

The agreement does not stop countries from imposing non-nuclear related sanctions on Iran.

She said they had also brought up "internal recent events" in a reference to anti-government protests in Iran that left more than 20 people dead.

Officials in the Trump administration have suggested that Trump plans to extend the waivers that lifted sanctions on Iran, but could seek new measures over issues such as human rights issues and missile programs.

If the sanction waivers are not extended by the United States, Iran can reactive nuclear program soon, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said on Wednesday. We greatly value the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran. Everyone agrees it is imperative that ALL live up to their obligations under JCPOA. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full US compliance", he wrote.

"While stressing that all options are on the table if Washington withdraws from the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran maintains that it will not be the first side to violate the JCPOA", Tasnim notes.

"It's incumbent on those who oppose the (deal) really to come up with that better solution, because we haven't seen it so far", he said.

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