Can the Iran Nuclear Deal Be Saved?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Trump called it â€œthe worst deal ever negotiated,â€ a shameful remark, a bald-faced lie, mocking an important diplomatic agreement.
Years of hard talks went into consummating it, despite knowledge of no Iranian intent to develop nuclear weapons, wanting them abolished.
Seven countries agreed on the JCPOA deal - the five permanent Security Council members, along with Germany and Iran.
Trump remains the sole outlier, heading toward possibly reneging on what his predecessor agreed to - more proof that America can never be trusted.
Its agreements arenâ€™t worth the paper theyâ€™re written on, numerous ones breached throughout its history.
Will the JCPOA be next? A May 12 deadline approaches. Trump must decide on or before this date whether heâ€™ll reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Iran or waive them like earlier. Reimposition will likely kill the deal.
French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel are in Washington this week - Syria and the Iran nuclear deal key issues to be discussed.
They want the JCPOA saved. Are they willing to support tougher US policies on Iran to get Trump to agree?
Talks between US administration officials and their German, French and UK counterparts reportedly have been going on to save the deal.
Issues reportedly being considered include:
prohibiting Iran from developing nuclear weapons after the 2025 JCPOA expiration - something the Islamic Republic has no intention of doing;
IAEA inspections of Iranian military sites (what wonâ€™t be permitted for security reasons); and
imposing sanctions on Iranâ€™s (legitimate) ballistic missile program - what its government categorically rejects.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif is in New York to attend an April 24-25 UN General Assembly Peace-Building and Sustaining Peace meeting.
On Sunday, he was interviewed by CBS Newsâ€™ Face the Nation.
He explained that the Trump administration failed to live up to the nuclear deal, stressing he and his administration â€œhave taken every measure in order to make sure that Iran does not benefit economically from the deal,â€ adding:
â€œSo if, if the decision comes from President Trump to officially withdraw from the deal then Iran will take decisions that have been provided for under the JCPOAâ€¦â€
Itâ€™s an international agreement, binding on all signatories. Trump threatened to pull out if itâ€™s not altered enough to effectively undermine it.
Time and again, Iran stressed the deal is not renegotiable. Zarif said his country â€œhas many options (in response to Trump pulling out), and those options are not pleasant,â€ adding:
â€œ(I)f the benefits of the deal for Iran start to diminish then there is no reason for Iran to remain in the deal. Because itâ€™s not acceptable for us to have a one sided agreement.â€
Saving the deal requires US compliance. Breaching it â€œwould mean (other nations) will at least think twice before they start negotiating with the United States,â€ said Zarif - knowing it canâ€™t be trusted.
If Trump pulls out of the deal or makes unacceptable demands to keep it in force, Iran has options to be implemented straightaway - including â€œvigorouslyâ€ resuming uranium enrichment.
Further â€œdrastic measuresâ€ are being considered, Zarif explained. Earlier this month Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Trump would â€œregretâ€ withdrawing from the JCPOA if he goes this far.
Zarif called German, French and UK pressure to curtail its ballistic missile program and involvement in Syria combatting terrorists â€œmisguided.â€
He called accusations of Iranian preparation for clashing with Israel militarily disinformation.
He urged resolving years of war in Syria diplomatically, including acknowledgement of the countryâ€™s sovereignty and acceptance of Assadâ€™s leadership.
Iranian military advisors will remain in Syria to help combat â€œterrorist elements,â€ he stressed.
The Islamic Republic has no Syrian or other regional territorial aims, he added.
Hezbollah fighters are combating terrorists in Syria to protect Lebanese national security. Both countries share a common border.
Allied with Germany, France, Britain, Israel and other rogue states, Washington seeks regime change in Syria, Iran, and other sovereign independent countries.
The fate of the JCPOA nuclear deal should be known in the coming days. Maintaining it as consummated is up for grabs - prospects not encouraging.
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