News ID: 208345
Published: 1238 GMT January 19, 2018

UN chief says don't harm Iran nuclear deal over unrelated issues

UN chief says don't harm Iran nuclear deal over unrelated issues

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that any issues not directly related to the Iran nuclear deal “should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement,” his spokesman said amid US concerns with Tehran.

“The (nuclear deal) constitutes a major achievement of nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy, and has contributed to regional and international peace and security,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on the second anniversary of the implementation of the deal between Iran and key world powers, Reuters reported.

The remarks were made after the US President Donald Trump said last Friday that European allies and Congress have to work with him to fix “the disastrous flaws” in the nuclear pact or face a US exit. Trump wants it strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.

Last Friday, Trump extended waivers of economic sanctions on Iran for another 120 days but said he was doing so “for the last time.”

Guterres called for concerns relating to the implementation of the nuclear deal “to be addressed through the mechanisms established by the agreement,” Dujarric said.

The parties to the nuclear deal created a joint commission to handle any complaints of breaches. If the complaining state is not satisfied with how the commission addresses its concerns, it can then take its grievance to the UN Security Council.

If the Security Council receives a complaint of a breach it would then need to vote within 30 days on a resolution to extend sanctions relief. If it fails to vote, the sanctions would be automatically re-imposed.

Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes and that it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.

 

US lawmakers table bill

 

Despite international warnings for Washington to stop attempts to undermine the accord, US lawmakers on Thursday put forward a bill at the House of Representatives, seeking to “tighten” the term of the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran.

The so-called “Iran Freedom Policy and Sanctions Act” was introduced by Republican representative Peter Roskam and backed by his fellow GOP member Liz Cheney, the daughter of scandal-hit former US Vice President Dick Cheney.

The proposed legislation “makes clear what any effective agreement would have to contain,” Cheney said in a statement, AFP reported.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has said it “will not accept any amendments in this agreement” — and the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the current agreement.

The other parties to the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union — have all said it is working and that Iran is complying fully with its commitments.

The United States, under President Donald Trump, has been aggressively pushing against the agreement.

The US administrations of both Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama, together with European allies, have also raised concerns over ballistic missile tests carried out by Iran.

Under a UN resolution enshrining the nuclear deal, Iran is also “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years. Some states argue that language does not make it obligatory.

Iran says it pursues only 'defensive' missile program and strongly denies that it has missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Senior US administration officials said last week that Trump will work with European partners on a follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that Iran cannot exceed related to ballistic missiles.

   
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