Zarif conversations about JCPOA with global media: “Reliability is different from trust”

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SHAFAQNA- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talked about the Iran nuclear deal, the rest of the international community deal with the US, Netanyahu‘s claims and the future of relations between Tehran and Washington, in separate conversations with world medias in New York.

Despite Donald Trump’s threats to blow it up, the Iran nuclear deal still has a “better than 50” percent chance of surviving the next year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told POLITICO in an extensive interview detailing how his country will—and won’t—respond to Trump’s extraordinary campaign against the agreement the American president calls “an embarrassment to the United States.

Zarif called Trump’s harsh attack on Iran in his recent United Nations speech “the most insulting statement that had ever been made by any U.S. president against Iran since the Revolution. But he said it has backfired, isolating the United States and undermining its credibility “as a reliable negotiating partner” on the world stage, and he vowed not to renegotiate the nuclear deal.

If Trump tried to unravel it, Zarif said in the interview for The Global Politico, Iran would consider everything from “walking away from the deal to somehow accommodating Europe.”

This would not be the first time that President Trump or other presidents have walked back from positions that they have taken during the campaign,” he said. The US is not a reliable negotiating partner and Iran is not actually eager to negotiate with that country.

US is not a reliable negotiating partner

“We’re not actually eager to meet with [US President Trump] because the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner,” Zarif told Al Jazeera.

“They were always saying that we want a treaty with Iran. Now they just withdrew from the [1955 Treaty of Amity] that we have with the United States because the International Court of Justice ruled against them” Zarif added. “That tells you that whatever you negotiate with this president and with this administration, they’re not going to be bound by it.”

The Hague-based ICJ, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on Wednesday regarding the July lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington’s decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Iran’s lawsuit argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US. It also called on the court to order Washington to immediately suspend the measures.

Asked if Iran will ever meet with President Trump or members of his administration, Zarif responded, “In politics, never say never. But I believe that there is need for a serious change in the administration”.

“We believe [JCPOA] is a deal that is in the interest of the international community,” he said. “Iran has given the Europeans some time, because they asked us for some time to try to compensate for US departure from the nuclear deal,” he added. “That means that Iran needs to receive the economic dividends of the deal.”

Other signatories all remained committed to its terms and defy

Speaking to the Guardian and the Financial Times, Iran’s foreign minister said the only way Iran would be persuaded to continue to observe the limits on its civil nuclear programme would be if the other signatories – the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China – all remained committed to its terms and defy any subsequent US sanctions.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, has called on Europe to defy US sanctions if the Trump administration torpedoes the international nuclear agreement with Tehran.

He warned that if Europe followed Washington’s lead, the deal would collapse and Iran would emerge with more advanced nuclear technology than before the agreement was reached in Vienna in 2015.

However, Zarif insisted that technology would not be used to make weapons, in line with Tehran’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“The deal allowed Iran to continue its research and development. So we have improved our technological base,” he said. “If we decide to walk away from the deal we would be walking away with better technology. It will always be peaceful, because membership of the NPT is not dependent on this deal. But we will not observe the limitations that were agreed on as part of the bargain in this deal.”

He added that “walking away” from the deal was just one option under consideration in Tehran.

“There are other options and those options will depend on how the rest of the international community deal with the United States,” he said. “If Europe and Japan and Russia and China decided to go along with the United States, then I think that will be the end of the deal.”

Europe should lead to keep deal intact

However, Zarif pointed out that in a previous era of high tensions between Washington and Tehran – when the US adopted sanctions legislation aimed at punishing European companies for doing business in Iran – Europe had resisted and sought to insulate its firms from US sanctions.

“In the 1990s they didn’t just ignore it,” Zarif said. “Europe, the EU, has legislation on the books that would protect EU businesses and adopt counter-measures against the US if the US went ahead with imposing restrictions. And it has been suggested by many that might be the course of action that Europe wants to take.

A 1996 regulation adopted by the EU gave Europeans protection against the application of US sanctions at the time, including the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act passed in the same year. The law could be revived and expanded to cover any new US sanctions.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told ‘Europe should lead’ to keep deal intact.

In an interview with the BBC, Zarif praised the European signatories to the nuclear agreement for defying US President Donald Trump’s pressure and standing by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – a binding international agreement.

Netanyahu has been wrong about the previous allegations and he’s wrong about this one

Iran’s top diplomat is slamming claims from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Tehran has been concealing a “secret atomic warehouse.”

“He’s just trying to find a smokescreen,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an excerpt of an interview with CBS‘s “Face the Nation.”

“The previous allegations that Netanyahu made have been investigated by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and have been rejected,” Zarif said, referring to the United Nation’s (U.N.) nuclear watchdog agency.

“Nonsense,” Zarif added of Netanyahu’s accusations. “He’s been wrong about the previous [allegations] and he’s wrong about this one.”

“If he’s concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, the best way to make sure is the deal he has done his best to undermine”. The comments are Zarif’s second denial after Netanyahu accused Iran during a speech at the U.N. General Assembly this week of having a secret nuclear warehouse in Tehran.

US abrogation of nuclear agreement would backfire on Washington

Iranian Foreign Minister criticized US disloyalty and its withdrawal from Iran Deal, saying starting all over with US is not possible, IRNA reports.

Zarif in an interview with Guardian, warned US abrogation of nuclear agreement would backfire on Washington.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad in another interview with New Yorker, compared diplomacy with the United States to the 2004 movie “50 First Dates,” starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, about a man who keeps having first dates with a woman who has short-term memory loss and forgets him the next day.

“We live in a world of possibilities, so nothing is impossible, but we need to see,” he said. “First of all, we’re not angry. Now, if it’s going to lead to resolution, you need to be able to build on what you already have, because, I mean, you remember the movie ‘50 First Dates,’ when you start all over again the following day. We can’t. This is impossible. You need to be able to have a relationship that is based on some foundations.

And we have a document”—the nuclear deal—“that is a hundred and fifty pages long. It’s not a two-page document,” he said, referring to Trump’s agreement with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at their June summit.

I’m not ruling out the prospect of talks provided the necessary conditions for talks, and that is reliability,” Zarif said. “Reliability is different from trust”.

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