2015 nuclear deal should have targeted Iran's policies

Tuesday, 15 May, 2018

Iran's Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Beijing today on the first leg of a whirlwind diplomatic tour planned to rescue the nuclear deal left on the brink of collapse after the USA pulled out.

JCPOA was implemented in 2016 after five permanent members of UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and US plus Germany reached an agreement with Rouhani's government to lift worldwide sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic in exchange for Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani said he has instructed his nuclear agency to be prepared to resume enriching uranium to industrial levels.

But last week US President Donald Trump announced he was leaving the deal and reimposing sanctions.

"It is going to be very hard for us to preserve the economic benefits of the Iran deal", one senior European diplomat said.

Instead, Iran is talking with Europe, Russia and China to see if the deal can be kept alive, though that is far from assured.

"We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement", Zarif said, speaking alongside his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

The European Union's chief diplomat said on Tuesday that the bloc was determined to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

He will later head to Moscow and Brussels.

"I would like to point out that Russian Federation and other participants in the deal - China and the European countries - also have their legitimate interests enshrined in this agreement", he added.

The 2015 agreement "is delivering on its goal, which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons, the European Union is determined to preserve it", Mogherini said, warning that she was "particularly worried" by the US announcement of fresh sanctions.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" and was working hard to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners.

The other Western members of the agreement seem to have wanted to save the deal not so much because of its inherent redeeming features, but rather to continue their voluminous trade with Iran.

A number of European companies, including Airbus, Siemens and Total, had established operations in Iran since the signing of the deal.

Whatever the immediate outcome of the planned talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, the USA repudiation of the Iran deal makes clear that the Korean Peninsula "peace talks" are a tactical maneuver aimed at facilitating USA imperialist violence and banditry. "President Trump's withdrawal is denying them that wealth, denying them the resources to continue their bad behavior, to take the money away from them", he said.

President Trump has discussed with President Macron in France with Chancellor Merkel in Germany with Prime Minister May in England to move beyond the deal.