U.S. senator urges Trump admin to get back into JCPOA

May 14, 2020 - 12:10

TEHRAN — Chris Murphy, the U.S. senator from Connecticut, has urged the Trump administration to get back into the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), saying it’s ridiculous for the administration to suggest it can pick and choose the parts of the JCPOA that it wants to observe and enforce.

“That’s a wonderful way to approach an international agreement: ‘I will not comply with the portions that my country is subject to, but I expect you to the portions that your country is subject to,’” Murphy said in an interview with The National Interest published on Tuesday.

He believes that the arms embargo on Iran is important and it needs to stay in place, “and I think the Trump administration has put us in an awful position, because it is harder than ever to reimpose the arms embargo outside of the JCPOA.”

“I don’t have a lot of creative advice for the administration, other than get back inside the JCPOA, because if you’re inside the JCPOA, it makes an arms embargo much easier to reinstate,” the U.S. senator added.

“The reality is the nuclear deal doesn’t exist today,” Murphy told Al-Monitor two months ago.

“You have to live in that reality,” he said, adding, “I don’t think it’d be great policy to let the embargo disappear if we’re not in the [deal]. So, I’m generally sympathetic to the idea that we’re going to need to re-up it and be back in a position to negotiate with the Iranians in the next administration.”

Last month, Washington called on the United Nations Security Council to extend its arms embargo on Iran, which will otherwise expire in a few months.

Under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the U.S. abandoned in May 2018, the UN ban on weapons sales to Tehran will end in October 2020.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing an argument that the U.S. remains a participant in the Iran nuclear accord. That claim comes even as Trump clearly stated in May 2018 he was “terminating the United States’ participation” in the JCPOA.

In December 2019, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran intends to stay in the nuclear deal despite the U.S. actions, arguing that the internationally-endorsed pact will be put to good use in 2020 when the arms embargo comes to an end.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said neither the United States nor its European allies, with their “flimsy” misreading of the landmark nuclear deal, were allowed to “lecture” the Islamic Republic on its missile program.

“Iran neither has nukes nor missiles DESIGNED to be capable of carrying such horrific arms,” he said.

Observers say it is absurd that the United States claims it is still a participant to the JCPOA.


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