JCPOA faces formidable challenge due to US policies – Iranian official

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on Friday warned of grave consequences of the US plans to walk away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I think we have a challenging stage ahead and our region needs no more tensions,” Araghchi said, casting doubts on the US commitment to the deal.

The Iranian diplomat made the press remarks following the closed-door meeting of the committee in charge of supervising the implementation of the JCPOA.

The periodic meeting gathered, besides Araghchi, delegates from P5+1 group – the US, the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.

The Iranian official asked the United States to allow the joint committee to carry out its mandate and ensure full adherence by all parties to the agreement without resorting to threats and sanctions.

The Middle East region which already suffers from a lot of problems cannot tolerate additional ones, he said, urging that everybody should realize this fact.

On the just-ended session, he said it was held amid challenging conditions due to the decision of the US President Donald Trump to reconsider the deal and the recent dismissal of US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Araghchi believes that Tillerson’s replacement with CIA chief Mike Pompeo shows that Trump intends to press ahead with his plan to pull the US out of the deal given the fact that Pompeo follows a tougher stance against the deal than Tillerson.

Today’s meeting sent a single call for the US Administration, and the other parties, to remain committed to the nuclear deal, the Iranian official added.

He voiced hope that the ongoing negotiations with the six powers would succeed to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion and shore up the deal.

The JCPOA, which was struck in July 2015 and took force on January 16, 2016, requires Iran to curb its uranium enrichment activities in exchange for break in the US sanctions.

On October 13, 2018, Trump threatened that the US would walk out from the agreement unless European allies agree by May 12 to fix the “flaws in the deal.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency