Beijing and Tehran call on world powers to honour Iran nuclear deal after US sanctions extension

Laura Zhou — South China Morning Post Dec 5, 2016

China and Iran have called on world powers to honour their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, which has been overshadowed by uncertainty after the US Senate passed an act last week to extend its sanctions against Iran.

“The comprehensive agreement is an international agreement reached by the six nations and Iran, which has been endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, so it is the joint responsibility of all parties to ensure the agreement will be fully and effectively implemented,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a press conference on Monday in Beijing.

“That should not be affected by the changes of domestic situation.”

Wang said all parties involved should honour their commitments to the deal and continue dialogue to solve possible disputes and push ahead with the implementation of the accord.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, said all nations had an “obligation to safeguard and implement the accord”, signed in January in return for easing sanctions

“We will not allow any party to unilaterally take measures to violate Iran’s nuclear accord, and Iran will also reserve the right to make its own decisions [regarding the accord],” said Zarif, who was in Beijing to co-chair an annual foreign ministers’ meeting.

In January, leading nations lifted oil and financial sanctions on Iran after international inspectors reported that Tehran had taken steps to dismantle large parts of its nuclear programme.

This followed an agreement in July 2015 by Iran and six world powers – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – to lift the sanctions in return for limiting Tehran’s nuclear activity so it cannot built a nuclear weapon.

The US still maintains its own separate set of sanctions on Iran and last week the US Senate passed a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act – a move seen in Tehran as a violation of the nuclear deal.

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Meanwhile Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be doing his utmost to undermine the agreement …Ed.

Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ‘bad’ Iran nuclear deal with Donald Trump

Reuters — Dec 4, 2016

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he and Donald Trump will discuss the “bad” nuclear deal with Iran after the US president-elect enters the White House.

During the US election campaign, Trump called the nuclear pact a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”. He has also said it would be hard to overturn an agreement enshrined in a United Nations resolution.

Speaking to the Saban Forum on the Middle East in Washington via satellite from Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “Israel is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons … That has not changed and will not change.

“As far as President-elect Trump, I look forward to speaking to him about what to do about this bad deal.”

Netanyahu has been a harsh critic of the nuclear deal, a legacy foreign policy achievement for Barack Obama. But he had largely refrained from attacking the pact in recent months as Israeli and US negotiators finalised a 10-year, $38bn military aid package.

Before the nuclear agreement, Netanyahu further strained relations with the White House by addressing Congress and cautioning against agreeing to the pact.

The Obama administration promoted the deal as a way to suspend Tehran’s suspected drive to develop atomic weapons. In return, Obama agreed to lift most sanctions against Iran. Iran denied ever having considered developing nuclear arms.

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