‘Bullying others’: Iranian FM slams US over its handling of nuclear deal
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed Washington for “bullying” other nations against Tehran, and condemned EU states that are dancing to the US tune over the nuclear deal at the expense of Iran.
In a statement published on Thursday on his YouTube channel, Zarif once again lambasted the US for shaking the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The minister reiterated that Iran had never shifted away from the 2015 deal, which has been repeatedly confirmed by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, some other signatories, and the US in particular, failed to show the same commitment to its obligations, according to Zarif.
“In contrast, the US has consistently violated the nuclear agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran,” he said.
The minister added that, while US President Donald Trump is “unhappy” with the JCPOA, “the response from some Europeans has been to offer the United States more concessions from our pocket.”
READ MORE: The Iran nuclear deal explained
Indeed, Trump’s constant criticism and demands to “fix” the supposed flaws of the 2015 deal did not fully amend the position of its European signatories – the UK, France and Germany – the leaders of which are against scrapping the agreement. But they now want to address“important elements that the deal does not cover,” including Iranian ballistic missiles. Tehran argues that any new deal would cover “defensive capabilities and regional influence” among other things that were excluded from the outset of the negotiations in 2015.
"Let me make it clear absolutely and once for all: we will neither outsource our security, nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith," Zarif stated.
As the deadline looms for Trump to sign the waiver for the JCPOA, which caps Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability in exchange for economic sanctions relief, Tehran is still warning the US against pulling out.
“The US is well advised to finally start honoring its commitments, or it, and only it, will have to accept responsibility for the consequences of not doing so,” the foreign minister concluded.
Earlier on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also stood up in defense of the Iran nuclear deal. He warned that, so long as there is no better alternative, the agreement should be preserved.
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