Zarif: U.S. must accept consequences if nuclear deal is ditched

May 4, 2018

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday that the U.S. will have to accept responsibility for consequences if it goes ahead with its threats to abrogate the 2015 nuclear deal.

The warning by Zarif comes as U.S. President Donald Trump is going to decide on May 12 whether to stay in the multinational nuclear agreement or nix it.

“Relying on cartoonish allegations, rehashed from more than a decade ago and dealt with by the IAEA to make a case for nixing the deal has fooled no one. Thus the U.S. is well advised to finally start honoring its commitments, or it, and only it, will have to accept responsibility for the consequences of not doing so,” the chief diplomat said in a video posted on Youtube.

Following is full text of his remarks published by IRNA:

Hello

My name is Javad Zarif, and I’m the Iranian foreign minister.

For the first two years in my post, I spent much of my time negotiating with my counterparts from the European Union, Russia, China, Germany, France, United Kingdom and the United States. We reached a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in 2015. We call it the JCPOA for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In the deal my country agreed to take certain concrete steps to assuage the concerns of the United States primary. The U.S. in turn committed to remove sanctions and to seize impeding business with Iran. The deal was not a treaty to require signature or ratification by any side, but it became binding on all as it was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council. 

On 11 occasions, the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has implemented all its obligations. 

"The U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran."
In contrast, the U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran. In the last year or so, we've been told that President Trump is unhappy with the deal. And it now appears that the response from some Europeans has been to offer the United States more concessions; from our pocket.

This appeasement entails promises of a new deal that will include matters that we all decided to exclude at the outset of our negotiation, including Iran’s defensive capabilities and regional influence.

But please understand on both issues it is Iran and not the West that has serious grievances and much to demand. We have not attacked anyone in centuries, but we have been invaded. Most recently, by Saddam Hussein, who was then backed by the U.S. and its regional allies. The West even actively prevented us from buying rudimentary means of defense even as Saddam Hussein showered both Iranian civilians and soldiers with chemical weapons. 

"And unlike U.S. allies in the region, who have brainwashed, financed and armed groups such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the ISIS, we had been pivotal in defeating these extremist groups."
Despite that taunting experience, we still spent a fraction of countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on defense, and our missiles have a shorter range than those of Saudi Arabia. And unlike US allies in the region, who have brainwashed, financed and armed groups such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the ISIS, we had been pivotal in defeating these extremist groups.

"Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: we will neither outsource our security, nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith."
Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: we will neither outsource our security, nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith. To put it in real estate terms, when you buy a house and move your family in, or demolish it to build a skyscraper, you cannot come back 2 years later and try to renegotiate the price.

In the coming days, the United States will have to decide whether to finally abide by its obligations. Iran stands firm in the face "If the U.S. continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws all together, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing, bluster or threats won't get the United States new deal."
of futile attempts and bullying. But if the U.S. continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws all together, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing, bluster or threats won't get the United States new deal. Particularly as it is not honoring the deal it had already made. 

Relying on cartoonish allegations, rehashed from more than a decade ago and dealt with by the IAEA to make a case for nixing the deal has fooled no one. Thus the U.S. is well advised to finally start honoring its commitments, or it, and only it, will have to accept responsibility for the consequences of not doing so.