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Zarif Rebukes US Envoy for Calling Nuclear Deal ‘Personal Agreement’

The minister said that “US calls JCPOA ‘a personal agreement between two governments’, claiming it ‘seeks a treaty’. Wrong. It’s an int’l accord enshrined in a UN SC resolution”
Zarif Rebukes US Envoy for Calling Nuclear Deal ‘Personal Agreement’Zarif Rebukes US Envoy for Calling Nuclear Deal ‘Personal Agreement’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif castigated the US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook’s, description of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as “a personal agreement”, stressing that the deal is an international accord endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

In a message on his Twitter account on Thursday, Zarif said, “US calls JCPOA ‘a personal agreement between two governments’, claiming it ‘seeks a treaty’. Wrong. It’s an int’l accord enshrined in a UN SC resolution.”

He pointed to the terrible US record of breaching international norms and agreements, saying, “Plus, US has violated its treaty obligations too and faces 2 suits at the ICJ (International Court of Justice). Apparently, US only mocks calls for peace.”

Hook said Wednesday that Washington now wants to negotiate a treaty that includes Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional behavior, Reuters reported.

“In the new deal that we hope to be able to sign with Iran, and it will not be a personal agreement between two governments like the last one, we seek a treaty,” Hook told an audience at the Hudson Institute.

The 2015 deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was an executive agreement that was not ratified by the US Senate and covered only Iran’s nuclear program. A treaty would require approval by the senate.

  Senate Vote

 “They did not have the votes in the US Senate so they found the votes in the UN Security Council. That is insufficient in our system of government if you want to have something enduring and sustainable,” Hook said, adding that Washington hoped US sanctions would force Tehran to negotiate.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed a dozen demands in May that he said could make up a new agreement, although Hook’s reference to a treaty, which would have to be approved by the senate, appears to be a new focus.

Among Pompeo’s demands was an end to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and for Iran to withdraw its forces and end financial support for sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Hook said the administration was expanding its diplomatic efforts to ensure that purchases of Iranian oil are drastically reduced by Nov. 4 when Washington re-imposes oil sanctions against Tehran.

He claimed that Iran posed an international threat to peace and security that went beyond the six major powers that signed the initial nuclear deal. European and Asian countries have been trying to salvage the nuclear agreement despite the new US sanctions against Tehran.

“If we want to have a stable and prosperous Middle East it starts with constraining Iran,” Hook said.

Iran views the US as acting in bad faith by withdrawing from the historic deal and has long blamed Washington for provoking bloody wars and conflicts in the Middle East and spreading death and destruction with its unwanted and unhelpful interventions in other countries.

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