Lavrov: Anti-JCPOA moves send wrong signal to North Korea 

December 26, 2017

TEHRAN – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Tuesday that U.S. measures against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the official name for the nuclear agreement between Iran and great powers - is sending a destructive message to North Korea which is caught in a fierce nuclear dispute with the United States.

“The U.S. position on the Iran nuclear deal does not help with North Korea,” Lavrov told Russia Today.

Lavrov added, “By undermining the Iran deal Washington is sending a signal to Pyongyang: Whatever denuclearization deal you may strike with us may be scrapped by a future administration.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has been making attacks against the nuclear deal, calling it the “worst deal he has ever seen” and threatened to tear it up.

On October 13, Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance to the agreement and asked Congress to decide about the fate of the deal within two months. However Congress missed the deadline and punted the future of the deal back to Trump.

According to the Washington Times, Congressional aides say lawmakers still have time to propose something before Trump is mandated to decide again whether to weigh in on the deal, but White House aides say the president is rankled by the lack of progress on Capitol Hill and likely will pull the United States out of the deal entirely when it comes up for review on Jan. 13.

Under the JCPOA, which went into effect in January 2016, Iran is obliged to lower its nuclear work in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency has issued nine reports since then each time confirming Iran’s commitment to the agreement.

According to a law enacted by Congress in 2015, the president must certify every 90 days that Iran is honoring the deal. Trump, in the early days of his administration, twice formally certified Iran’s compliance, but he clearly chafed at seeming to endorse an agreement that he harshly criticized on the campaign trail in 2016.

He made clear his unhappiness when announcing his Iran deal decision two months ago. “In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said on Oct. 13. 

The deal “is under continuous review, and our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time.”

Some of the president’s top aides, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, have advocated staying in the deal out of concern about the negative effects an American pullout could have on Middle East security and on U.S. allies that remain committed to the deal.

SP/PA

 
 

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