Europe should pay price to salvage JCPOA: envoy

November 22, 2019 - 17:54

TEHRAN – Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, says Europe should be ready to pay the price if it wants to preserve the nuclear deal.

“It is completely visible that turning a blind eye to the current state of the affairs shows that Europeans are not ready yet to pay the necessary price for maintaining the most important diplomatic achievement and as they call it one of the most important foundations of non-proliferation architecture,” Gharibabadi said while addressing the IAEA’s board of governors on Thursday, Mehr reported.

Pointing to Iran’s reduction of its commitments to the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in the past months, the envoy said the only way to keep the historic pact alive is that all sides live up to their commitments.

“Europe needs to define the U.S. destructive role as the main reason for the current state of the affairs instead of criticizing Iran,” he added.

Gharibabadi also dismissed as “baseless” claims of nuclear proliferation by Western countries as Iran has removed some limits on nuclear energy program, stressing that such baseless remarks will not stop Iran from continuing its national plans.

The ambassador said, “Nuclear weapons do not hold any place in Iran’s defensive and security doctrine.” 

He also said, “The U.S. claim of negotiations with Iran is a mere political gesture to evade its responsibilities in living up to its international commitments.” 

The envoy underlined that Iran’s reduction of its voluntary nuclear commitments is meant to bring back the balance to the pact, adding that with Iran as the only party committed to the deal, it will make it a unilateral agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and imposed economic and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Under the nuclear agreement, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of economic and financial sanctions.

Following the U.S. withdrawal, Iran remained fully committed to the JCPOA for a year, but announced on the anniversary of Washington’s bellicose move that its “strategic patience” is over and would gradually reduce its commitments to the deal at 60-day intervals, which were designed as deadlines for Europe to protect Tehran’s interests under the deal.

So far, Iran has taken four steps in that regard.

Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

MH/PA

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