Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says everyone will regret the possible collapse of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015 as the US continues its efforts to sabotage the deal and issues threats to pull out of it.
In a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tehran on Monday, the Iranian president added that it is imperative to save the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in order to improve regional security, stability and cooperation.
“Of course, We will be ready for any conditions, which would not be favorable to us,” the Iranian president added.
Iran and the P5+1 countries – namely the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany – finalized the nuclear accord in July 2015 and started implementing it in January 2016.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to apply certain limits to its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.
“The survival of the JCPOA will prove to the world that negotiations and diplomacy are the best options to solve problems,” President Rouhani said.
He; however, warned that any collapse of the nuclear deal would mean that political negotiations are a waste of time.
The Iranian president urged all the signatories to the JCPOA to remain committed to their obligations under the deal, saying, “Iran will never be the first party to violate the JCPOA and regards this deal as effective in increasing regional and international trust, peace, cooperation and stability.”
US President Donald Trump on January 12 reluctantly agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the landmark deal, but said it would be the last time he issued such a waiver unless conditions were met.
Trump said he wanted Congress and America’s European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief once again comes up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions; otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.
In a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, President Rouhani hailed France’s stance on the multilateral deal.
“Tehran will remain committed to its undertakings as long as the opposite sides implement the JCPOA,” he said.
In a meeting with the French foreign minister in Tehran earlier on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Europe must pressure the United States to fulfill its obligations under the JCPOA.
“Europe must put the US under pressure to implement its commitments and not allow the US to make illogical and unlawful demands despite its lack of commitment and violations [of its commitments],” Zarif said.
France keen to save JCPOA: Le Drian
The French foreign minister, for his part, said Paris was keen to save and implement the nuclear deal.
Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have proved that Iran has fully complied with the JCPOA, he said, adding that France would make its utmost efforts to save the accord.
Europe regards the nuclear agreement as a fundamental document for improving regional development and stability, Le Drian noted.
He emphasized that Iran and France could have positive cooperation on ways to improve regional stability and security, prevent humanitarian catastrophe in regional countries, and settle the ongoing crises in the region.
The French foreign minister visited Iran on Monday on a delicate mission to reaffirm Europe’s support for the nuclear agreement. He held talks with senior Iranian officials including Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Foreign Minister Zarif.
After a day of tough talks, Le Drian said France would continue discussions with Iran, stressing the importance of finding a way to restore stability to the region.