As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it is doing so far, the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal, the EU's High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini said yesterday. "We fully trust the work, competence and autonomy of the International Atomic Energy Agency that has published ten reports certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments," she said.President Rouhani of Iran makes his address to the nation. Ali Akhbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, stands to the right of the President. (Image: President of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mogherini's remarks followed a statement from US President Donald Trump yesterday announcing his decision to terminate the USA's participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying it "failed to protect America's national security interests". The president has directed the US administration immediately to begin the process of re-imposing sanctions related to the JCPOA.
Mogherini said the EU "regretted" Trump's statement. "Should the US reconsider this position, we would welcome it … As we have always said, the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally," she said. She noted that the agreement, which she described as a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, had been unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
The leaders of France, Germany and the UK have also emphasised their continuing commitment to the agreement, which was signed in July 2015 by Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA - also referred to as the P5+1 - plus the European Union) and implemented in January 2016. Under its terms, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment activities, eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and limit its stockpile of low enriched uranium over the next 15 years. The agreement cleared the way for the lifting of nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed against Iran.
President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May issued a joint statement in which they urged all sides "to remain committed to [the JCPOA's] full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility".
"According to the IAEA, Iran continues to abide by the restrictions set out by the JCPOA, in line with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The world is a safer place as a result. Therefore we, the E3, will remain parties to the JCPOA. Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement," the three leaders said.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, yesterday said China would remain "in close communication with all relevant parties" and remain committed to upholding and implementing the JCPOA with an "objective, impartial and responsible attitude".
Members of Russia's Permanent Security Council, at a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, today expressed their "deep concern" over the US decision and highlighted the importance of the document.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that he had instructed his foreign minister to "meet and coordinate" with the remaining signatories of the JCPOA within weeks, and said the agreement would still stand if Iranian interests could be met.
"From this moment, the JCPOA is between Iran and five countries," he said in a televised address. Rouhani also said he had instructed the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran "to be ready" to start industrial uranium enrichment but would wait "a few weeks" before taking such a step to allow consultations "with our friends and allies, as well as the other members of the JCPOA who have signed it and will be loyal to it."
The IAEA is responsible for verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear commitments under the plan. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said today that the agency is closely following developments related to the JCPOA as it continues with its verification and monitoring role.
"Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime under the JCPOA, which is a significant verification gain. As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran," he said.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News