Iranian FM Zarif criticized the European decision to trigger an investigation into Tehran’s alleged non-compliance with the nuclear deal – asking why it allows “bullying” from the United States, who derailed the agreement.
During an international conference in New Delhi, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif was asked about the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal. The agreement went downhill in May 2018 when the US dropped out, then re-imposing sweeping sanctions and vowing to pile “maximum pressure” on Iran.
On Tuesday, the European trio triggered an investigation after Iran announced that it will move beyond uranium enrichment limitations following the killing of one of its top military leaders in a US drone strike earlier this month.
“They say ‘We are not responsible for what the United States did.’ OK, but you are independent countries,” Zarif said, referring to Europe.
Europe, EU, is the largest global economy. So why do you allow the United States to bully you around?
When asked about the fate of the 2015 deal, the Iranian FM reassured Reuters that “it’s not dead”.
Shortly before the investigation was launched, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson floated replacing the deteriorating 2015 nuclear accords with what he called “the Trump deal,” garnering an enthusiastic response from the American President. But the conversation didn’t sit well with Tehran.
On Wednesday, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani criticized the UK PM for suggesting they “put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action,” pointing out that “Trump has done nothing but violated international covenants and laws.”
“Pick the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal”.
Under the terms of the 2015 deal, Iran had agreed to curtail its domestic nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Having announced that the commitments have been rolled back, Tehran stated that the enrichment was to meet some “technical needs” and had nothing to do with the development of atomic weapons.
Iran also promised it will remain in touch with the UN-led International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors are carrying out their work as normal.
With the European trio triggering the compliance investigation, the worst case scenario for Iran could see the UN Security Council deciding to reinstate some sanctions.
As the Iranian Foreign Ministry put it on Tuesday, the Islamic Republic will provide a “serious and firm” response to any “destructive initiative” taken by any signatory of the deal, but will welcome “good faith” measures to save it.