JCPOA Parties Ready to Continue Without US
Despite a hostile stance by the new US president toward the nuclear agreement, other international parties are intent on seeing through the historic pact, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a lawmaker said.
"All members of P5+1, except the United States, appear determined to continue implementing the JCPOA and upholding its terms, which is to the benefit of all concerned parties," Morteza Saffari also told ICANA in a recent interview. P5+1, a coalition of six power nations, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, negotiated the pact with Iran in July 2015.
Donald Trump, who was inaugurated as US president on Jan. 20, lambasted the action plan on the campaign trail as the "worst deal ever negotiated" and pledged to renegotiate it.
"It has been envisaged in JCPOA that in case any of the participating countries fails to carry out its obligations … other parties can continue the implementation process," Saffari said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in Tehran Monday on a two-day visit to reaffirm Europe's commitment to the nuclear deal.
"Ayrault is going to underline the importance of all sides, which backed the deal strictly, fulfilling their commitments," French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romain Nadal said of Ayrault's trip during a daily briefing last Friday.
Despite their often fraught ties, the EU says it is in full agreement with China and Russia over the need to keep the nuclear deal alive.
Despite the easing of economic sanctions against Tehran under the deal that curtailed its nuclear work in return, Iran continues to struggle to access western finance, partly due to banks' fears about penalties related to remaining US sanctions.
Speaker after speaker at a UN Security Council meeting on Jan. 18 on the implementation of the action plan stressed its historic nature and its success after its first year. The United Nations, the European Union and key players in the Iran nuclear agreement in a united message called on the then president-elect Trump to remain committed to implementing the accord.
EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who facilitated the agreement, praised the deal as "a major achievement" and said all participants have fulfilled their commitments, citing "a staggering 63%" rise in EU-Iran trade in the first three quarters of 2016 as one example of the results of lifting sanctions.
Mogherini stressed in a statement read by the EU ambassador to the UN that "implementation is an ongoing task and we expect full and effective implementation throughout the lifetime of the agreement".