Iran nu­clear deal sig­na­to­ries at­tempt to save agree­ment

Tehran wants to see new mea­sures by end of May

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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