By staff and agency

ElBaradei says U.S. exit from nuclear deal lacks rationale, legal basis, and common sense

July 13, 2019

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has described the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, when it was “working” as “lacking rationale, legal basis and any common sense”.

“They (Americans) are applying a waterboarding method to Iran, drowning Iran and then looking and then asking them: let’s have a dialogue without any preconditions,” says ElBaradei who was the IAEA chief from 1997 to 2009.In an interview with BBC Radio 4 published on Friday, he said that the U.S. is applying waterboarding method to Iran by exerting economic pressure on the country.

“They are applying a waterboarding method to Iran, drowning Iran and then looking and then asking them: let’s have a dialogue without any preconditions,” he said.

He added, “No country is going to cooperate under these humiliating conditions.”

“If they (the U.S.) want to go to war they are doing a perfect job," he said.

Pointing to Tehran’s further enriching of uranium up to 4.5 percent, he said, “It’s a symbolic reaction from a country that can’t even import medicines because of sanctions imposed by the U.S.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that Iran will not negotiate under pressure, suggesting that the United States must first stop “economic terrorism” against Iran if it seeks negotiations.

“Negotiation under pressure has never been possible. They must stop pressure and economic terrorism against Iran and after that they can talk about implementing the JCPOA [the 2015 nuclear deal],” Zarif told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

Zarif said after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018, the paragraph 36 of the deal has become operational.

Paragraph 36 provided a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.

Iran announced on July 7 that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, as the Europeans missed a 60-day deadline by Tehran to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

On May 8, exactly one year after the United States left the nuclear deal and reimposed sanction on Iran, Tehran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the nuclear pact. The announcement, which was declared by the Supreme National Security Council, stated that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities as long as sanctions are in place. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects.

NA/PA

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