No renegotiating Iran nuclear deal, all parties fully compliant – EU foreign policy chief
All parties to Iran’s nuclear agreement remain in full compliance with the deal, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after the Wednesday P5+1 powers’ meeting. She emphasized that the deal had potentially averted a military incursion into Iran.
“This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear program and potentially prevented a military intervention,” Mogherini said, following a meeting of ministers representing the six world powers and Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Calling the negotiations a “frank” discussion, Mogherini said that it boiled down to all sides agreeing that no country has breached the terms of the deal.
“We all agreed on the fact that there is no violation, that the nuclear program-related aspects, which is all the agreement, are being fulfilled,” she said.
In an apparent reference to the recent criticism of the deal by US President Donald Trump, who has labeled the landmark agreement “worst deal ever negotiated” while vowing to scrap it, Mogherini argued that “there is no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement.”
Among the issues raised at the meeting was Washington’s commitment to the deal, Mogherini confirmed.
Speaking on whether she considers the deal to be effective, Mogherini said the answer to this question should lie exclusively within the scope of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with watching over Iran’s compliance with the scaling down of its uranium enrichment.
A potential US withdrawal from the deal was not on the agenda of the meeting, she said, noting that the parties did not discuss any scenarios resulting from Washington walking out on the agreement.
"The scope of the nuclear deal is related to the nuclear program of Iran. There are other issues that are out of the scope of the agreement, and these issues might be tackled in different formats," she told journalists, when asked about Trump’s frustration with the deal.
Tillerson reaffirmed the US commitment to the deal but said that Trump is now weighing arguments “from both sides” to make a final decision whether the existing agreement meets US interests.
"We’ve had sufficient time to get our own kind of direct understanding of this agreement and how it functions. I think the time has come for a decision to be made,” Tillerson said. He added that President Trump had told him he had already made up his mind on the matter, but did not disclose any details at the time.
Tillerson confirmed that the US acknowledged Iran’s compliance with the letter of the deal.
"From the technical standpoint, the IAEA reports continue to indicate and confirm that Iran is in technical compliance with the agreement," Tillerson said, adding that the US will keep on monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity and “take additional steps.”
While the top US diplomat did not provide any details on the nature of those “steps,” he insisted that “none” of them would leave the US “in any way contrary to our obligations under the JCPOA.”
Moscow once again voiced support for the deal, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that Iran’s strict compliance with the agreement attested to by the IAEA allows Tehran to fully realize the deal’s potential in the economic, political and security spheres.
“Lavrov has confirmed that Russia will continue contributing to maintaining the stability of the JCPOA,” the Russian Foreign Minstry said in a statement after the meeting.