UNSC Resolution Underpins Nuclear Deal

The top EU diplomat said she has a personal direct responsibility to guarantee that the nuclear agreement is implemented by all sides
EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini
The nuclear deal is a multilateral and not a bilateral agreement between the US and Iran

A top EU diplomat said the incoming US administration would lack the legal authority to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal as it is a multilateral agreement involving five other major powers and is enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution.  

"The Iranian deal, the nuclear deal, is not a bilateral agreement between the US and Iran. It's a multilateral agreement that we have negotiated. I have a personal direct responsibility as still the chair of the Joint Commission that supervises the implementation of the agreement to guarantee that it is implemented by all sides … all sides," Federica Mogherini told CNN on Thursday.

"And this is inframed into UN Security Council resolution, actually more than one [resolution]. So it is not a unilateral or bilateral issue. It's a multilateral agreement in the framework of the United Nations."

The Joint Commission has been set up under the accord, reached in July 2015 and put in place in January, and comprises representatives from Iran and the six world powers tasked with monitoring the agreement and addressing issues arising from its implementation.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to endorse the historic agreement that had been announced a few days earlier.

Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the pact has eased sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for time-bound restrictions on its nuclear program. During his election campaign, US President-elect Donald Trump criticized the action plan, widely considered to be the top achievement of outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama, as a "disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated".

  Tehran's Options

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Mogherini's stance, saying Tehran wants all parties to stick to the deal but has options if that does not happen.

"Of course Iran's options are not limited but our hope and our desire and our preference is for the full implementation of the nuclear agreement, which is not bilateral for one side to be able to scrap," Zarif said.

"Our strong preference as a party that has remained fully committed and implemented its side of the bargain ... is for every member and participant and for the international community to continue to remain committed to the agreement," he told a news conference in Bratislava after meeting his Slovak counterpart, Miroslav Lajcak.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, charged with monitoring the Islamic Republic's side of the JCPOA, has verified that it has kept to the agreement.

"But it doesn't mean we don't have other options if the USA unwisely decides to move away from its obligations under the agreement," Zarif said in response to a question whether Tehran would start enrichment again if the Trump administration ditched the deal, Reuters reported.

When asked whether he hoped for a similarly good working relationship with Trump's future secretary of state as he had with the outgoing John Kerry, he said it would not be necessary.

"We had a long nuclear negotiation between Iran and the United States. I do not expect another negotiation, certainly not on the nuclear issue, but nor on any other subjects so that I would need to establish a same type of contact with the new secretary of state, whoever that may be," he said.

  Trump Seeks Renegotiation  

Walid Phares, one of Trump's foreign policy advisers, said the incoming president is going to demand changes to the historic pact.

"Ripping up is maybe a too strong of word, he's gonna take that agreement, it's been done before in international context, and then review it. He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion," Phares said on BBC radio.

"It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now … is not going to be accepted by a Trump administration."

Trump won more than 270 electoral votes in the 2016 presidential polls, in an upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

US partners in the deal are concerned that under Trump, Washington may pull out of the landmark international pact.

Hours after the results of the vote were announced on Wednesday, the Obama administration renewed its vow to remain committed to implementing the deal through its final months.

"This administration will be committed to implementing those policies through January 20 and we will live up to the commitments that we have made … as we do so," White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints