Zarif: World should rise up to resist U.S. extreme unilateralism

June 9, 2018

In a letter to his counterparts around the world, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that the U.S. exit from the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement shows that “the specter of an extreme unilateralism is once again hovering upon the world, and we all should rise up and resist it.”

Following is the text of the letter dated May 23:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Excellency,

I’m writing to update you on the latest developments regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the continued impulsive, unlawful and provocative approach of the U.S. administration to sabotage this remarkable diplomatic achievement.

Following the unilateral and unprovoked withdrawal of the U.S. from the JCPOA on 8 May 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo, in a policy statement delivered on 21 May, cynically demanded that Iran and the rest of the world succumb to the will of the United States—which centers on killing the nuclear deal.

The unacceptable demands by Secretary Pompeo of Iran and the rest of the world fly in the face of international law and civilized state practice. His nuclear demands do not merely violate the JCPOA and SCR 2231, but in fact undermine the very foundations of the NPT, the IAEA Statute, the Safeguard Agreement and the Additional Protocol, and endanger the entire global non-proliferation regime with far-reaching ramifications for all members of the international community.Repeating baseless allegations and enumerating absurd and outdated demands, Secretary Pompeo threatened that Iran would be hit with “the strongest sanctions in history” and face “unprecedented financial pressure” if it fails to surrender to the whims of the U.S. administration. By doing so, the Secretary and the Government of the United States not only violated their commitments under the JCPOA, failed to comply with unanimously-adopted UNSCR 2231, breached the Charter of the United Nations and showed their contempt for international law, but also breached the explicit pledge of the United States Government in the Algiers Declaration of 1981 by openly declaring a policy of direct interference in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Attempting to gain from his Government’s wrongful intransigence and unlawful policies, he openly threatened the rest of the world that any actor that does not cease dealing with Iran will be punished.

I am confident that your esteemed Government is fully aware of the falsehood of the allegations against my country and the illegality of the U.S. Secretary of State’s demands. Unlike the United States and its current and former allies – such as Saddam Hussein during the 1980s—the Islamic Republic of Iran has never invaded another country and has been on the forefront of helping its neighbors – upon their requests – to fight extremist terrorists that are armed and financed by the U.S. and its regional clients. Attempting to revise history, and in insulting the intelligence of even teenagers who can remember the culprits behind the 9/11 tragedy, the Secretary accuses Iran of supporting groups that have been radicalized, financed, nurtured and armed by U.S. clients in the region. The fact that Iran fought these groups and U.S. allies sponsored them has even been consistently acknowledged not only by U.S. intelligence, but even repeatedly by President Trump himself during his campaign and in the Presidential debates – of course before his campaign was infiltrated by mobster agents of the same terror masters.
You may recall that Iran was a victim of an 8-year-long aggression. During that war, the invading army received tens of billions of dollars worth of the most sophisticated arms from the East and the West, while Iran was actively prevented from purchasing the most rudimentary means of self-defense. Despite that bitter experience, today, our armaments including our defensive missiles as well as our entire defense expenditure are a fraction of those of U.S. clients in the neighborhood who race to buy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of the most sophisticated weaponry, including missiles with longer ranges.  And while the President Trump complains about Iranian defense capabilities, he openly insists that his clients in the region should buy even more “beautiful military equipment” and boasts about creating “hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans.”

The accusations Mr. Pompeo raised are even more preposterous if viewed in light of the U.S.’ track record of aggressions, military interventions and covert terrorist operations in many countries, including in West Asia. It is ridiculous that a high official of a country that has destabilized our region in the most grotesque way at least since 2003 is now accusing us of fueling wars. Iran has been a direct victim of the U.S.’ aggressive presence in our region, including when the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air 655 killing all its 290 civilian passengers on 3 July 1988.

This unwarranted and wrongful U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and especially the bullying tactics that the U.S. employs to have the rest of the world follow suit, blatantly scorn the principle of pacta sunt servanda, disparage the rule of law at the international level, undermine the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and challenge international institutions.There is no doubt that the destabilization caused in our region by U.S. aggressions is the source of many terrorist groups, the blood of whose victims are on the U.S.’ hands.  Secretary Pompeo should also explain which country attempted many times to create militias in Syria to fight its Government, and which militia the U.S. is now supporting in Syria, and which foreign troops are now occupying a large part of this country against the will of its people and its Government.

The unacceptable demands by Secretary Pompeo of Iran and the rest of the world fly in the face of international law and civilized state practice. His nuclear demands do not merely violate the JCPOA and SCR 2231, but in fact undermine the very foundations of the NPT, the IAEA Statute, the Safeguard Agreement and the Additional Protocol, and endanger the entire global non-proliferation regime with far-reaching ramifications for all members of the international community. And his threats of arm-twisting against other nations will make the world hostage to the economic and political diktats of this impulsive administration. If he and the administration he serves are to get away with such bullying tactics, what kind of world is it that we should be expecting to live in?

The U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA was the culmination of a long period of attempts by the U.S. to violate and sabotage it and UN Security Council resolution 2231 that endorses the deal and “calls upon all Member States to … support its implementation.” This unwarranted and wrongful U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and especially the bullying tactics that the U.S. employs to have the rest of the world follow suit, blatantly scorn the principle of pacta sunt servanda, disparage the rule of law at the international level, undermine the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and challenge international institutions.

The JCPOA marked the end of an unnecessary crisis that had lasted for more than a decade. It is a beacon of hope, especially in the volatile region of West Asia, signaling that diplomacy and dialogue can still work. Based on the UN Security Council resolution to which it is annexed and by which it is endorsed, the JCPOA does not exclusively belong to those who concluded it, thus enabling one party to scrap it whimsically, whether for reasons emanating from its domestic politics, or out of a political quarrel with a preceding administration.

Like any bilateral or multilateral agreement, the JCPOA is governed by the principle of Pacta Sunt Servanda and is based on reciprocal undertakings by all sides. Its scope, provisions and timeframes are based on a delicate, negotiated and multilaterally-accepted balance that cannot be widened, altered or renegotiated. Its benefits to the Iranian people cannot be subjected to any conditionality other than those nuclear-related voluntary measures specifically stipulated solely in the JCPOA and in its annexes.  

It is our true belief that each and every member of the community of nations has a duty to stand up against lawlessness, bullying tactics, and contempt for the rule of law in international relations.The EU/E3+3 as one side of the deal committed themselves individually and collectively to the undertakings, which include the lifting of sanctions and restrictive measures outlined in Annex II of the document. Some of the most significant economic benefits to Iran from the JCPOA derive from the sanctions-lifting obligation of the United States. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as the other party to the deal, has remained faithfully committed to its side of the bargain by scrupulously complying with all its commitments—as verified repeatedly by the IAEA.  We have done so despite persistent breaches and the defective implementation of the agreement by the U.S. from the inception. I am attaching a copy of my letter dated 10 May 2018 to the UN Secretary-General (S/2018/453) in which I outlined the pattern of violations by the United States of its obligations under the JCPOA since the Implementation Day, and particularly during the Trump administration.
If JCPOA is to survive, the remaining JCPOA Participants and other economic partners need to ensure that Iran is compensated unconditionally through appropriate national, regional and global measures. In line with Iran’s commitment to legality and the peaceful resolution of international disputes, the Islamic Republic of Iran has decided to resort to the JCPOA mechanism in good faith to find solutions and to determine whether and how the remaining JCPOA Participants and other economic partners can ensure the full benefits that the Iranian people are entitled to derive from this global diplomatic achievement.  If, after the exhaustion of available remedies, our people’s rights and benefits are not compensated, it is Iran's unquestionable right – also recognized under the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231 – to take appropriate action in response to the persistent and numerous unlawful acts by the U.S., particularly its withdrawal from the agreement and its unilateral re-imposition of all sanctions.

Dear Colleague,
What is at stake today is the defense and promotion of multilateralism. The specter of an extreme unilateralism is once again hovering upon the world, and we all should rise up and resist it. It is our true belief that each and every member of the community of nations has a duty to stand up against lawlessness, bullying tactics, and contempt for the rule of law in international relations; in particular by refusing to give effect to irresponsible acts and by holding law-breaking States accountable for the consequences of their acts.

I should like to emphasize that the United States cannot be allowed to benefit from its unlawful withdrawal from the JCPOA, nor can it threaten or compel other States into violating a Security Council resolution, which, “underscoring that Member States are obligated under Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations to accept and carry out the Security Council’s decisions”, “calls upon all Members States, regional organizations and international organizations to take such actions as may be appropriate to support the implementation of the JCPOA, including by taking actions commensurate with the implementation plan set out in the JCPOA and this resolution and by refraining from actions that undermine implementation of commitments under the JCPOA.” I am confident that your esteemed Government will take appropriate action in compliance with Security Council resolution 2231 and will thwart the efforts to replace the rule of law and multilateral global order with the law of might and unilateralist intimidation.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


 

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