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Austria FM: US Policy on Iran Undermined Mutual Trust

Austria FM: US Policy on Iran  Undermined Mutual TrustAustria FM: US Policy on Iran  Undermined Mutual Trust

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl censured, without naming the Unites States, the unilateral withdrawal from the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program, saying it has eroded “mutual trust”. 

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, Kneissl referred to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“If one country, which originally committed to the JCPOA, can walk away from it without other partners to the agreement having violated it, mutual trust is weakened,” she said.

The Austrian foreign minister said the importance of trust and reliability is best reflected in the JCPOA, an international pact that is “politically but not legally binding”.

“Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security in the end,” she said, according to the text of her speech published by the UN media center.  

Iran’s nuclear pact, according to her, is the result of effective multilateral action and an agreement whose political commitments "demonstrate the indispensability of pacta sunt servanda as a precondition for mutual trust and confidence-building in the international arena." 

Pacta sunt servanda, Latin for "agreements must be kept," is a basic principle of international law, which stresses that clauses in private contracts are law between the parties and non-fulfillment of respective obligations is a breach of the pact.

>Key Requirement 

Reliability is key for peaceful resolutions of conflicts, Kneissl emphasized. 

In 2015, Iran reached an agreement with the six world powers, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US and Germany, on its nuclear program, but US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the accord in a self-willed move last May.

Other signatories have remained committed to the deal and have used every opportunity, including the UN General Assembly’s podium, to support the accord. 

Besides the Austrian minister, other parties have also voiced their support for the preservation of JCPOA while addressing the assembly. 

Spearheading the attack on Trump was French President Emmanuel Macron who referred to it as “a good accord that is essential to peace at a time where the risk of an infernal conflagration cannot be excluded.”

British Premier Theresa May also delivered a rebuke to the US president over his abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal, maintaining that it is the best means to ensure Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful. 

Russian, Chinese and German diplomats followed suit.

"We hear loud statements that not only call into question the legal validity of international treaties, but also declare the priority of self-serving unilateral approaches over decisions taken in the framework of the United Nations," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for the continued implementation of the agreement, stressing that it serves the common interests of all the parties concerned and the international community at large. 

In addition, Germany's Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas pointed out that the survival of the landmark accord would make it easier to find solutions to conflicts in Yemen and Syria. 

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