By Hamid Bayati

Iran’s interest lies in implementing JCPOA regardless of U.S. provocations, says ex-IAEA official

July 1, 2020 - 19:19

TEHRAN — The former head of Verification and Security Policy at the IAEA has said that it is in Iran’s strategic interest to continue implementing the JCPOA and the NPT regardless of U.S. provocations.

“In my view, it is in Iran’s strategic interest to continue implementation of the JCPOA and the NPT regardless of U.S. provocations and to avoid taking irreversible steps that would be problematic for Iran and the region,” Tariq Rauf told the Tehran Times on Tuesday.

Rauf explained that the U.S. has been exercising a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran and Washington’s efforts to extend the arms embargo in October is part of this policy to bring continuous pressure on Iran. 

“Both China and Russia are opposed to extending the arms embargo that they consider as being a temporary measure as envisaged in July 2015 and to expire in October this year,” he said.

“Given the various U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran including on oil sales, the oil price collapse, the impact of COVID-19 on Iran’s economy; Iran does not have the financial capacity to purchase new weapons from Russia or China,” he opined.

Hence, he continued, the extension of the arms embargo is a political measure and its effect on Iran’s arms acquisitions from abroad in real terms is negligible.
 
Rauf added that at present there is not sufficient support in the Security Council to extend the arms embargo, and the veto can be exercised by China and Russia. “The E3 are in a difficult position vis a vis the U.S. and Iran and they have very little leverage.”

MH/PA
 

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