Nuclear Deal Binding for all US Gov’ts

Nuclear Deal  Binding  for all US Gov’tsNuclear Deal  Binding  for all US Gov’ts

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said future US administrations will not be able to violate a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

"I am sure if a deal is reached, no government in the United States will be able to break that agreement, if they go back on it, no one in the world will attach value to (such a move)," Zarif told Financial Tribune in an interview on Thursday.

"Unfortunately, today the US government has managed to base its cruel sanctions on (UN) Security Council resolutions… (But) if we reach an agreement, not only will it not be possible to base any sanctions on Security Council resolutions, but the US government will need to violate a (prospective) Security Council resolution to apply sanctions against Iran," he explained.      

"It should not be forgotten that when the US government was much more powerful than what it is today, namely in the 1990s, they imposed extensive unilateral sanctions on Iran, but even their closest allies refused to enforce the sanctions," he added.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are in talks to work out a long-term settlement to the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program by a self-imposed June 30 target date.  

Under a preliminary understanding reached between Iran and the six major powers in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2, a new UN Security Council resolution will endorse the final deal and terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions.  

On the lifting of sanctions, which is one of the lingering sticking points in the talks, the chief nuclear negotiator said sanctions must be terminated immediately after the deal comes into force.

"The United States' domestic regulations are not our concern. The US government will have to cease the application of sanctions (as per the Lausanne agreement)… the use of the term 'cease' was because we did not intend to be engaged in domestic disputes in the US. We hold the US government responsible (for the implementation of the deal)."

Under the US Constitution and congressional legislation, the US president has the power to cease the application of sanctions, he noted.

"If an agreement is concluded, it will be seen as an international obligation for the US president."

On the chances of securing a settlement, Zarif said, "The agreement is within reach, provided that the other side adopts a realistic approach and avoids making excessive demands."

  Not Bound by Time

Asked about the possibility that the talks could be extended, the top diplomat said Tehran is in pursuit of a "good" deal no matter how long it takes to achieve the aim.

"In relation to an extension, we maintain that we should secure a good deal, and we do not feel we are under any time pressure. In view of the (nuclear deal review) bill passed by Congress, the Americans are faced with time limits, but we do not feel (such a constraint)."

US President Barack Obama signed into law last month the bill giving Congress 30 days to review the deal before Obama could cease US congressional sanctions, provided legislators receive the deal by July 8. After that, the review period would be 60 days.

Zarif said it will be a desirable outcome "if we get an acceptable deal (by the deadline), but if we fail to do so, we can continue (the talks)."

"I do not think that there will be any extension… but it is likely that we will need some more days."

Commenting on the recent remarks by some western officials that questions related to Iran's past nuclear activities never had to be fully addressed in order for the deal to be reached, Zarif said the UN nuclear agency's probe into what it calls possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program can come to a conclusion if the parties to the negotiations adopt a   reasonable approach to the issue.  

"We had said from the outset that these allegations are unfounded… We have always insisted that our nuclear program is peaceful and said that we help the questions be resolved within the framework of international regulations taking into account national security considerations," the foreign minister said.

"I believe that if the other side approaches the issue realistically, it will not be difficult to overcome it," he said, stressing, "We should wait to see the reflection of these remarks in the talks."

 Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is only for peaceful purposes. However, since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013 Tehran has stepped up its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency's investigation to help end an "unnecessary" dispute.