Macron: No Alternative to JCPOA

The 2015 nuclear agreement is what allows Europe to establish a constructive and demanding dialogue with Iran
French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said there was no alternative to the Iran nuclear deal.

In a message aimed at US President Donald Trump, who has ordered a review of the lifting of sanctions on Iran after the agreement and called it "the worst deal ever negotiated", Macron told French ambassadors that the accord was good, Reuters reported.

"There is no alternative to the regime on nuclear non-proliferation," he said. "In the context of what we are living through, the 2015 agreement is what allows us to establish a constructive and demanding dialogue with Iran."

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini also reaffirmed the bloc's staunch support for the pact, despite hawkish signals from the US administration, the EU's main ally, of its unilateral desire to torpedo the multi-party, international agreement.

"This was not an agreement between the two countries, I have repeated it time and again and I have the impression that we will need to repeat it time and again in the months to come," the top EU diplomat said in her speech to the opening session of the 2017 EU Ambassadors Conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday.

The United States was joined by the three European powers, namely Germany, Britain and France, as well as Russia and China, in brokering the landmark accord with Iran on July 14, 2015. It has been in force since January 2016 to give Iran relief from international sanctions in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear activities.

"It was a commitment undertaken by the entire international community on one side and Iran on the other, supported by a resolution of the UN Security Council, and certified regularly by the International Atomic Energy Agency [the body mandated to oversee the deal]," Mogherini said, according to a transcript of her remarks carried by the European External Action Service website.

The resolution was adopted on July 20, 2015, to endorse the pact, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Despite IAEA's repeated verification of Iran's compliance, the action plan has come under harsh attacks by Trump. He appears doggedly determined to ditch the historic accord for the sake of his own vested interests, which accord was considered a significant achievement by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

***Matter of Credibility

Mogherini stressed, "Two years on, compliance with the deal is certified by the IAEA and by the Joint Commission I chair with the strong support of Helga [Schmid, Mogherini's deputy], not by one single individual country. And we will have to repeat it time and again in these months to come everywhere we are, because again this is a matter of international security, international safety and also a matter of credibility of international agreements."

The Joint Commission is a panel of representatives from the JCPOA signatories, which addresses issues related to the deal's implementation.

"And I was glad to hear at the beginning of this month from the reelected president of Iran, [Hassan] Rouhani, in Tehran in his inaugural speech, his personal commitment to continue to implement their part of the deal. This is what is counting the most for us at this moment," she added.

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