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Critics say that two years after the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. has failed to hold up its end of trhe bargain. (Photo: U.S. Department of State/Flickr/cc)

Trump Is Endangering Nuclear Deal, Says Iranian Foreign Minister

The president has urged other leaders to end business ties with Iran, undermining the 2015 deal

Julia Conley

As the United States and Iran mark two years since reaching their landmark deal on nuclear weapons, analysts say Iran has met its obligations stipulated by the agreement—while the U.S. has failed to do so.

The deal, forged in July 2015 by Iran and the Obama administration along with Germany and the four other members of the U.N. National Security Council, stipulated that sanctions on Iran would be lifted in exchange for its halting of nuclear development for the next decade and its compliance with continuous surveillance of its nuclear enrichment and storage sites, among other requirements.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was tasked with making sure Iran complied with the deal, and has reported that the country has done so. But with the introduction of a Senate bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran aimed at its ballistic missile program, the language of which the nonpartisan Arms Control Association calls "overly broad and imprecise," critics say the U.S. has not met the deal's terms, endangering the agreement.

In an interview on Sunday on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that President Donald Trump has failed to hold up the United States' end of the bargain by urging its allies to cut business ties with Iran, effectively enacting more sanctions.

"When...President Trump used his presence in the G20 meeting in Hamburg in order to dissuade leaders from other counties to engage in business with Iran, that is a violation of not the spirit but the letter of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], of the nuclear deal," Zarif said.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) also expressed dismay at the state of the deal, noting in a press release, "The JCPOA represented an opportunity for the U.S. and Iran to change course, broaden engagement, and end the policy of sanctions and antagonism. Unfortunately that opportunity has largely been squandered."

"Continued sanctions, calls from the White House for nations to refrain from investing in Iran, and an increase in military encounters between the US and Iran all threaten the deal," the NIAC added.

Meanwhile, the grassroots disarmament organization Peace Action wrote on Thursday that the Iran deal should be held up as a model for diplomacy, as the U.S. weighs its options in handling growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear capabilities—thus far, imposing sanctions and refusing to participate in talks with North Korea.

“One of the crucial features of negotiations with Iran was our willingness to negotiate without preconditions," the group wrote. "Yet when it comes to growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, the administration has instead opted for more ineffective sanctions and dangerous threats of military force. It's time we apply the same diplomatic approach to North Korea that has proved successful with Iran.”


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