US Secretary of State John Kerry has stressed the “absolute urgency” of remaining committed to a nuclear deal with Iran.
Kerry, who was his country’s lead negotiator during talks that culminated in the Iran deal, said in Berlin on Monday that his boss was in contact with President-elect Donald Trump, due to take over in January 2017, to inform him of the importance of keeping the deal intact.
“I know that President [Barack] Obama has already engaged in conversations with the president-elect and we will work as diligently as we can to impart to the incoming team the absolute urgency of keeping that and other agreements intact,” he said, referring to the Iran deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The deal was reached between Iran on the one side and the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China on the other in July 2015. It followed some 23 months of tough negotiations.
Trump, a businessman with no background in governance or diplomacy, campaigned for US presidency in large part on a platform of rejecting the achievements of President Obama. He succeeded in rallying mostly blue-collar Americans behind his tough talk on matters of world policy without providing any specific policy alternatives of his own.
During the campaign, he said he would “tear up” the Iran deal if elected.
Trump has not commented on Iran-related issues since winning the US presidential election on November 8 but has surrounded himself with individuals who are known for bellicose rhetoric toward the Islamic Republic.
The Obama administration, which regards the deal and the resultant resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran as its foreign policy legacy, has been involved in efforts to convince Trump’s incoming team of why the deal should stand.
Senior officials at the outgoing administration have said they would be making a strong argument to the incoming team that the potential abdication of American commitments under the Iran deal would have “grim consequences” for the United States.
Kerry, meanwhile, hailed the Islamic Republic’s contribution to the conclusion of the accord. The deal came about “with Iran’s consent and participation,” he said.
There has been speculation that the deal may be violated by the US under Trump. The US Congress recently voted to extend the US president’s authority to potentially impose sanctions on Iran.
Such developments have caused concern among the other countries that negotiated the deal, including European states.
China, too, on Monday warned that no party to the agreement should allow its domestic upheavals to adversely affect its commitment to the accord.