Senior diplomat warns nuclear deal may fall apart any moment

Araqchi says Iran’s patience running thin

May 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Warning that Iran’s “patience is running thin”, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi warned on Tuesday that the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, may fall apart “at any moment” as the U.S. has endangered the agreement by withdrawing from it and reimposing sanctions on Iran.

Araqchi said the deal is in fact a “security agreement” which involves the whole world.

The countries, especially the European Union, have been largely inactive to compensate for the losses that Iran has suffered since the U.S. exited the agreement last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

The agreement was endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“The nuclear deal is more a security agreement than an economic one which is related to the entire world, but the JCPOA has been endangered because of the United States’ position and may fall apart at any moment,” Araqchi told the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) in Ankara, Turkey.

Araqchi said though the agreement was signed between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) it is “actually an agreement belonging to the international community”.

Araqchi, who served as a senior negotiator in crafting the nuclear deal with the 5+1 group and the EU, said the JCPOA is the only successful example of diplomacy in the region but the United States wants to “destroy” it.

Araqchi warns U.S. will be held accountable for any clash between IRGC and CENTCOM in Persian Gulf

Araqchi also said the U.S. will be responsible for any clash in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere between the IRGC forces and those of the U.S. Navy Central Command (CENTCOM) as Washington has designated the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

“The two forces, which have been reciprocally designated as terrorist groups, may engage in clashes in the Persian Gulf or any other region,” Araqchi warned.

“There is no doubt that the U.S. will be held accountable for such a situation,” he added, according to Press TV.

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday signed off on the law recently approved by the Iranian Parliament, which designated the American forces based in West Asia — known as the United States Central Command — as a terrorist organization.

The chief executive put his signature to the legislation, obligating its enactment by ministries of intelligence, foreign affairs, and defense as well as the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), and the Plan and Budget Organization.

On April 8, the White House labeled Iran “a state sponsor of terrorism” and the IRGC a “foreign terrorist organization,” claiming that the defense force “actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”

Back on Sunday, Mohammad Baqeri, chairman of the Iranian Armed Force chief of staff, said all American ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz have so far remained answerable to the IRGC as the force in charge of security in the strategic waterway despite Washington’s latest wave of hostile measures against the Iranian nation.

No change has so far been reported in the conduct of U.S. warships, commercial vessels and oil tankers, and they have up until now been responding to the IRGC’s questions as usual while sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, General Baqeri stated.

He said Iran wants the strait — through which nearly one-third of all oil traded by sea passes — to remain open and secure, warning that the country will not allow anyone to destabilize the waters.

“As oil and commodities of other countries are passing through the Strait of Hormuz, ours are also moving through it,” Baqeri said, adding Iran “will definitely confront anyone who attempts to destabilize the Strait of Hormuz, and if our crude is not to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, others' [crude] will not pass either.”

The commander explained, “This does not mean [that we are going to] close the Strait of Hormuz. We do not intend to shut it unless the enemies’ hostile acts will leave us with no other option. We will be fully capable of closing it on that day.”

In a recent interview with Reuters, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran was “not going to take any action” should the U.S. continue observing the rules of engagement.

PA/PA

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