Iran must engage in NPT subject to full JCPOA implementation

  Iran must engage in NPT subject to full JCPOA implementation
ID : N-1705 Date : 2018/05/05 - 11:11

(Persia Digest) – A former Iranian diplomat believes that if the US exits from the JCPOA without the UN Security Council and the Joint Commission under the agreement dealing with Iran’s complaints, Iran can subject its membership in the JCPOA and NPT to the full implementation of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement.

On 12 May, Donald Trump will decide the fate of the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal, the JCPOA, and whether the US will stay or exit the multilateral agreement. In an interview with the New Yorker, Iranian FM Javad Zarif, has said that Iran has three options if the US withdraws from the JCPOA: 1) To withdraw from the deal and accelerate enrichment; 2) To exploit a dispute mechanism in the deal; 3) To withdraw from the NPT. Following the comments made by FM Zarif, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani has also said that leaving the NPT will likely be Iran’s response to a US withdrawal from the JCPOA. Comments by Iranian officials in recent months indicate that if the US withdraws from the deal, the likelihood of Iran staying in the agreement is small.

Persia Digest (PD) reporter has conducted an interview about the future of the JCPOA with former Deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and spokesperson for Iran's nuclear negotiating team.

On Trump’s views about amending the JCPOA, Seyed Hossein Mousavian told PD: “Trump’s demands to amend the JCPOA have no legal and logical basis; because the agreement has been backed both by the UN Security Council and the IAEA.”

To the question of what Iran will decide if Trump withdraws from the JCPOA, he answered: “I am not aware of the decisions made by Iranian authorities, but I believe Iran should use the guidelines provided in the JCPOA and take its grievances to the mutual commission set up with the P5+1 signatories.”

He continued: “Iran has taken one very important step so far by implementing the JCPOA to the fullest, which has also been consistently approved by the IAEA. Subsequently, Iran has the upper hand on the international scene presently over the White House. The international community supports the JCPOA and approves Iran’s commitment to its obligations.”

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About Iran withdrawing from the NPT (in case of US withdrawal from the JCPOA), which has been brought up by FM Zarif and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Shamkhani, Mousavian commented: “According to Article 10 of the NPT, all members are free to leave the Treaty in case of conflict with national interests. Therefore, if the five world powers who have the ultimate responsibility for upholding the NPT and JCPOA, abrogate their commitments towards Iran, they would naturally pave the way for Iran to leave the JCPOA, and subsequently the NPT.”

He added: “If the US withdraws from the JCPOA, and the UNSC and Joint Commission under the JCPOA do not deal with Iran’s complaints regarding the US abrogation of the agreement, Iran can subject its membership in the JCPOA and NPT to the full implementation of the JCPOA.”

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When asked about the differences in the nature of Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs and whether this can have a negative impact on US negotiations with N Korea, the former spokesperson for Iran's nuclear negotiating team said: “As a rule, a US withdrawal from the JCPOA would be a clear message to N Korea that any agreement with Trump can be canceled by the next US president. But the Americans may have made promises to the N Koreans on the subject.”

About the reactions of the international community, and the EU, China and Russia in particular, to an exit by the US from the agreement, Mousavian answered: “Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain will have a feast. But, the international community, especially European powers and the eastern bloc such as Russia and China, and India, will show a seamless negative reaction to such a decision. But, the possibility of a serious reaction to the US is unlikely.”

Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a former Iranian diplomat and spokesperson for Iran's nuclear negotiating team. He is currently a visiting research scholar at Princeton University. He is the author of “Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir” Iran and the US and “Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace”.

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