Iran to Pursue Grievances Against US Via JCPOA Panel

Trump’s bellicose remarks are inconsistent with the nuclear deal, as the action plan bans the US administration from making negative comments or taking actions that undermine the international agreement
Mohammad Javad ZarifMohammad Javad Zarif

US President Donald Trump's recent anti-Iran tirade is "inconsistent" with the US commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal and Tehran will pursue its grievances through the pact's oversight panel, the foreign minister said.

Speaking in an interview with state TV late Saturday, Mohammad Javad Zarif also said, "Trump's last night remarks on JCPOA, just like those he made at the UN General Assembly, are inconsistent with articles 26, 28 and 29 of JCPOA."

The foreign minister was referring to the formal name of the pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, agreed in July 2015 between Iran and the then US administration and its five partners to roll back Tehran's nuclear development in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

"The action plan bans the US administration officials from making negative comments on JCPOA," he said.

Zarif said he would, in a couple of days, write a letter to the Joint Commission on Trump's recent hostile remarks against Iran.

"The letter, which would mention the breach of articles 26, 28 and 29 of JCPOA, would be officially lodged with the JCPOA Joint Commission," he said.

The commission comprises representatives from all JCPOA parties, tasked with overseeing the agreement and addressing issues related to its implementation.

Article 26 calls on the US to "make best efforts in good faith to sustain JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting."

Article 28 commits the major powers to "take all measures required to lift sanctions and refrain from imposing exceptional or discriminatory regulatory and procedural requirements in lieu of the sanctions and restrictive measures covered by JCPOA."

Article 29 says, "The EU and its member states and the United States, consistent with their respective laws, will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran, inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of JCPOA."

The multiparty deal has been under harsh attacks from Trump since he took office in January this year.

***No Traction  

Trump has not abided by the US commitment toward the internationally-backed agreement and was reflected in the Republican hawk's blustery speech on Friday, where he declared Iran non-compliant with the deal, despite the UN nuclear agency's testimony to the contrary, and outlined a broad strategy aimed at containing the Islamic Republic's regional clout.

"Based on the factual record that I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification," Trump said.

Now the US Congress has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose the sanctions suspended under the accord, a move that other nations in the deal and some former and current US administration officials believe could effectively kill it.

Trump had also used his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York last month to criticize the UN-buttressed deal as "an embarrassment to the United States" and "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into".

He, however, broke his own campaign pledge to rip up the Iran agreement, deciding not to pull the US out or reimpose nuclear sanctions, though he left that option on the table.

Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, said Trump’s threat to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal was “dangerous” and was undermining the validity of US promises to other nations.

In the interview, which was recorded on Wednesday, Clinton said Trump’s insistence on decertifying the deal even though evidence has pointed to Iranian compliance “makes us look foolish and small".

Zarif said Trump's hostile approach has failed to gain traction even among Washington's European allies who appear to have forged a united front to head off the deal's collapse.

"Europeans used to rally behind the US whenever it wanted to impose sanctions on our country, but now they reject the US excessive demands on JCPOA," he said.


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