Iran nuclear deal signatories attempt to save agreement
Tehran wants to see new measures by end of May
Signatories of the Iran nuclear deal met in Vienna on Friday in a bid to save the agreement, as Iran warned the deal had been put “in intensive care” by Washington’s dramatic withdrawal earlier this month.
For the first time since the accord came into force in 2015, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany gathered – at Iran’s request – without the US.
US President Donald Trump has long trashed the deal with Iran saying it did not do enough to curtail Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
He also said it did not go far enough in restricting Iran’s ballistic missile programme, or its intervention in regional conflicts from Yemen to Iraq and Syria.
Speaking before the meeting, a senior Iranian official rejected any attempt to link the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to other such issues, saying it would mean “we lose JCPOA and we [would] make the other issues even more complicated to resolve,” adding that it was pointless for the Europeans to try to “appease” Trump.
“We have now a deal which is in the intensive care unit, it’s dying,” he said.
He added that the Europeans had promised Iran an “economic package” to maintain the benefits of the JCPOA for Iran despite the reintroduction of US sanctions.
Iran expected this package by the end of May, he said, adding the country had only “a few weeks” before having to decide whether to keep participating in the deal or not.
Russian delegate Mikhail Ulyanov struck a more upbeat note after the meeting, saying, “we have all chances to succeed, provided we have the political will.
“I must tell you that the JCPOA is a major international asset. It does not belong to the United States, it belongs to the whole international community.”
He added that the possibility of referring the matter back to the UN “was not discussed during this meeting.”
Since the US pullout, the other signatories have embarked on a diplomatic marathon to try to keep the agreement afloat.