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Iran's Zarif on JCPOA: EU States Should Exert Sovereignty Rather Than Bow to US Bullying

© AP Photo / Petr David JosekIran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  - Sputnik International
On Tuesday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi reiterated that Tehran is not seeking to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has urged European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal to “exert sovereignty rather than bow to US bullying.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Zarif referred to the signatories’ recent letter to the UN Secretary General which he argued indicates “a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own JCPOA obligations.”

The remarks come after the European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal accused Tehran of possessing “nuclear-capable ballistic missiles,” which they claimed are “inconsistent” with a UN resolution endorsing the agreement.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, UN ambassadors from France, the UK and Germany referred to UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 which actually “calls on” but does not require Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology”.

The French government has, meanwhile, claimed that Iran’s ballistic activities are out of sync with the Islamic Republic’s obligations under UN Security Council resolution that endorses the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

This followed Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi confirming on Tuesday that Tehran is not seeking to abandon the agreement.

Speaking during a meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Araghchi added that Tehran is ready to come back to abiding by the commitments stipulated by the JCPOA  provided that the sanctions regime against Iran is lifted.

The remarks followed Zarif tweeting in September that it has been "clear" since May 2018 that the European signatories to the JCPOA had failed to fulfil their commitments.

He noted that there would be no new deal before "compliance with the current one."

Tehran Denies Possession of Nukes

Tehran has repeatedly stressed that it has no nuclear warheads and that none of its missiles have been designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Iran insists that its ballistic program has a purely defensive nature, which s the most important component of the country’s sovereignty and that the entire matter is non-negotiable.

At the same time, President Hassan Rouhani recently made it plain that Iran is still ready to engage in negotiations regarding its nuclear programme, on the condition that the US scrap its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran Blames JCPOA European Signatories for Failing to Preserve Iran Deal

Since May, Iran has been discontinuing its obligations under the JCPOA every 60 days in response to Washington's unilateral withdrawal and the pressure of renewed sanctions.

While European signatories claim that they remain committed to the deal, Tehran says that following the United States' exit, European signatories failed to ensure Iran’s interests under the agreement.

Washington abandoned the Iran deal on 8 May, 2018, also reimposing tough sanctions against Iran’s banking and energy sectors. Exactly a year later, Tehran announced that it had suspended some of its obligations under the JCPOA, while adding that it doesn’t want to leave the deal.

Other parties to the agreement attempted to find a mechanism to evade the restrictions to keep the deal alive, with Iran complaining that these efforts weren't working effectively.

The JCPOA agreement was signed in 2015 in Vienna, obliging Tehran to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related international sanctions.

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