'Either all or nothing' on Iran nuclear deal, warns its Foreign Minister Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking at the Iran-Pakistan Business Forums in Karachi on March 13, 2018.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking at the Iran-Pakistan Business Forums in Karachi on March 13, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA (REUTERS, AFP) - The European signatories of Iran's nuclear deal with major powers should convince US President Donald Trump not to exit the accord as there is no"plan B" for the agreement, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday (April 23).

"It is either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more important to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith," Mr Zarif wrote on his Twitter account.

Under Iran's settlement with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, Teheran agreed to curb its nuclear programme to satisfy the powers that it could not be used to develop atomic bombs.

In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.

Mr Trump has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to "fix the terrible flaws" of the 2015 nuclear deal, or he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a Fox News Sunday interview he has no "plan B" for the deal and the United States should stay in the agreement as long as there is no better option.

"President Macron is correct in saying there is no 'plan B' on JCPOA," Mr Zarif tweeted.

 
 

The JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the formal name of the accord.

Iran has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties respect it, but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.

China and Russia will block any attempts to “sabotage” the Iran nuclear agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

“There are attempts to interfere with the international order upon which the United Nations depends,” Mr  Lavrov said after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing.

“We said clearly with China that we will stop attempts to sabotage these agreements that were passed in a UN Security Council resolution,” Mr Lavrov said.

He was speaking on the eve of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security bloc spearheaded by Moscow and Beijing.

Calling the Iran agreement “one of the biggest achievements in international diplomacy in recent times”, Mr Lavrov said that “revising this document is unacceptable”.