Analysis: Iran nuclear deal divides world’s powers



Sat, 14 Oct 2017 - 04:24 GMT


Sat, 14 Oct 2017 - 04:24 GMT

President Trump and an Iranian ballistic missile test - Reuters

President Trump and an Iranian ballistic missile test - Reuters

CAIRO – 14 October 2017: World’s powers are divided into two camps after U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to end the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. European countries and Moscow reaffirmed to Tehran their support to the nuclear deal, while some Arab countries and Israel showed their support to the American new strategy against Iran.
In a widely expected speech, Trump said he would not certify Iran is complying with its agreement with the six world powers and the European Union before which Tehran promised to rein in its nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions, Reuters reported on Friday.

The Republican president, who has called the pact negotiated by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama "an embarrassment" and the "worst deal ever," threw the issue to the U.S. Congress, which has 60 days to decide whether or not to reinstate U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

Trump warned that "if we are not able to reach a solution working with the Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated."

Countries that endorse Trump’s new policy against Iran
The United Arab Emirates said on Friday it fully supported the new U.S. policy towards Iran and it renewed its commitment to work with Washington to counter Iran's support of extremism, the state news agency WAM reported.

"The UAE announces its full support to the new U.S. strategy to deal with the Iranian policies undermining security and stability," WAM said on its Twitter account.
Bahrain has also announced it welcomed the shift in U.S. policy on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia welcomed what it called Trump's "decisive strategy" towards Iran and said lifting sanctions had allowed Tehran to develop its ballistic missile program, level up its support for militant groups including Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen, and attack global shipping lanes.

The Riyadh government said in a statement it had supported the nuclear agreement, "but Iran took advantage of the economic gain of lifting sanctions and used it to continue destabilizing the region."

The Riyadh government also said it would continue to work with allies to achieve the goals announced by Trump and end Iran's "hostile activities".
"President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement.

Countries that oppose Trump’s new policy against Iran
On the other hand, Russia criticized U.S. President Trump's threat to end the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the European Union defended the pact with Tehran. British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement saying they "stand committed" to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which infuriated Trump.

"We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump's decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications," the statement read.

"We stand committed to the JCPOA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPOA is in our shared national security interest," it added.

"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," the statement said.

"The JCPOA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA through its long-term verification and monitoring program," it added.

"Therefore, 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," the statement concluded.

According to a statement issued by the French Elysee, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Tehran in the coming weeks to discuss those files with his Iranian counterpart, it added.

In Brussels, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Washington could not unilaterally cancel the agreement.

"We cannot afford, as the international community, to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working," said Mogherini, who chaired the final stages of the landmark talks. "This deal is not a bilateral agreement."

"The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will continue to be, in place," Mogherini told reporters in Brussels.

Moscow doubts it would be possible to adjust or somehow improve the deal on Iran's nuclear program; Interfax quoted the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Friday.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday there was no place in international diplomacy for threatening and aggressive rhetoric, and said such methods were doomed to fail, in a statement issued after Trump's speech.

The ministry said Trump's decision to de-certify the deal would not have a direct impact on the implementation of the agreement but that it can counter its spirit.

Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Iran was implementing the deal and was subject to "the world's most robust nuclear verification regime."

Why Trump seeks JCPOA changes?
Trump called for new sanctions on Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, which he called the "corrupt personal terror force of Iran's leader," in addition to restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program, which is not covered by the deal.

Last month, Iran said it had successfully tested a new medium-range missile with a 2,000km (1,200-mile) range. The test was not internationally verified.

The U.S. president said that congressional leaders were already drafting amendments that would curb the ballistic missile development and eliminate expiry dates on restrictions to Iran's nuclear development.

What’s Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal?
Based on the agreement signed in 2015, which has been concluded with due regard for Iran’s red lines; the world powers recognize Iran’s civilian nuclear program, including the country’s right to the complete nuclear cycle.

The UNSC sanctions against the Islamic Republic, including all economic and financial bans, will be lifted at once under a mutually agreed framework and through a new UN resolution.

None of the Iranian nuclear facilities will be dismantled or decommissioned.
Furthermore, nuclear research and development activities on all types of centrifuges, including advanced IR-6 and IR-8 machines, will continue.

The nuclear-related economic and financial restrictions imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) targeting the Iranian banking, finances, oil, gas, petrochemical, trade, insurance and transport sectors will at once be annulled with the beginning of the implementation of the agreement.

The arms embargo imposed against the Islamic Republic will be annulled and replaced with certain restrictions, which themselves will be entirely removed after a period of five years.

Additionally, tens of billions of dollars in Iranian revenue frozen in foreign banks will be unblocked.

A total of 800 persons and legal entities, including the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), will be taken off sanctions lists.

On October 6, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic’s missile program is for defensive purposes and is not open to any negotiations.

“Iran regards defensive missile programs as its absolute right and will definitely continue with them within the framework of its defensive, conventional and specified plans and strategies,” Qassemi added.



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