Shortly after US President Donald Trump officially announced on Friday that he would not certify the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Mogherini stressed that the 2015 accord reached between Iran and Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China as well as the US “does not belong to any single country”.
“To my knowledge there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council resolution that has been adopted, and adopted unanimously, and implemented, and verified,” she said.
“It is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort. The president of the United States has many powers (but) not this one,” the EU foreign policy chief pointed out.
Mogherini underlined the EU’s determination to abide by the JCPOA, noting that the bloc expects the other parties to the deal to adopt the same stance.
“We cannot afford as an international community, as Europe for sure, to dismantle an agreement that is working and delivering,” she said.
Apart from his refusal to certify the JCPOA, Trump also warned in his strategic review of US policy on Iran that he might ultimately terminate the deal, in defiance of other world powers and undermining a landmark victory of multilateral diplomacy.
While Trump did not pull Washington out of the nuclear deal, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said earlier on Friday that Tehran had a “very broad” range of options for any breach of the JCPOA and would “end all its commitments in this regard if deemed necessary.”
Trump called on Congress and US allies to address “serious flaws” in the JCPOA, including the deal’s “sunset clauses” that will put an end to restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program after a few years as well as the agreement’s “total silence on Iran’s missile programs.”
The US president noted that key Congress leaders are drafting legislation to amend the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which has given Congress some oversight on the JCPOA, prevent Iran from developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and make all restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program permanent.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani slammed Trump’s speech against the Islamic Republic as nothing more than insults and delirious talk, urging the US president to brush up on his world history and geography to improve his comprehension of international obligations and global ethics, etiquette and conventions.
The Iranian president further rejected Trump’s demand that the 2015 nuclear deal be revised, saying the agreement would remain intact and no article or paragraph would be added or taken away from it.
Rouhani said Iran will only respect its nuclear deal commitments so long as its rights are safeguarded, emphasizing that Tehran has cooperated and would continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has certified Iran’s compliance eight times.
UK, Germany, France back JCPOA
Following Trump’s speech, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany issued a joint statement, expressing concern over “the possible implications” of Washington’s decision.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they “stand committed to its full implementation by all sides.”
“The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not diverted for military purposes,” said the statement released by May’s Downing Street office.
“We encourage the US administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.
“Our governments are committed to ensuring the JCPOA is maintained,” the statement pointed out.
While both the US and the IAEA confirm that Iran is meeting the technical requirements of the nuclear deal, Trump claims that Tehran is in breach of the “spirit” of the agreement because of its expanding influence in the Middle East and the country’s achievements in its conventional missile program.
The three European leaders also expressed concern over Iran’s ballistic missile program, noting that they “stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues.”
The nuclear agreement is solely about Iran’s nuclear activities and it does not incorporate non-nuclear issues.
Russia slams Trump’s policy
In reaction to Trump’s speech, Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced his Iran strategy as one using “aggressive and threatening rhetoric” but said it expected the JCPOA to stay intact.
The ministry’s statement said it expected Trump’s decision “would not have a direct impact on the implementation of the deal” but was “an element of (US) domestic debate.”
Trump’s threat to terminate the nuclear deal comes as the US has a history of quitting international pacts and organizations.
This is not the first time that the international community witnesses efforts by the Trump administration to renege on a multilateral agreement.
Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement in June and has ordered the US to withdraw from UNESCO next year.
The US decisions to abandon multilateral agreements is not limited to the Trump administration. In 2002, the administration of former US President George W. Bush withdrew from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), which it had signed with the Soviet Union in 1972.