Iran seeks assurances on nuclear deal after US pullout


VIENNA, May 25: Iran will pull out of a landmark deal to stop the country from developing nuclear weapons unless it receives concrete guarantees that the economic incentives of the pact will be protected by the other parties, following the US decision to unilaterally withdraw and Washington’s threat of sanctions against companies who trade with Iran, a senior Iranian official said Friday.
Iran called an urgent meeting Friday in Vienna of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Joint Commission, or JCPOA _ the first time the group of Iran, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia has convened since President Donald Trump took the US out of the deal earlier this month.
“The subject of the discussion is to consider and address the implications of the US withdrawal, and this will be very important for Iran to come to its own decision,” said a senior Iranian official who briefed a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity. “We have not decided yet to stay in the deal.”
The other nations have all said they want to stay in the 2015 deal, which limits Iran’s enrichment and stockpiling of material that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program. In exchange, Tehran was granted widespread relief from international trade, oil and banking sanctions.
The Iranian official said that for his country to stay in the deal, the relief granted would have to be guaranteed by the other parties involved and that Tehran needs specifics on how that will happen by the end of May. Tehran will make its final decision in a “few weeks.”
The official said that in theory the deal can survive without the US, but acknowledged “in practice I’m not sure.”
He acknowledged the timeline was tight, but said that European nations had ‘wasted’ the past few months trying to convince Trump not to pull out of the nuclear deal over his contention it was not tough enough on Iran. Among other things, Trump said the deal needed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and involvement in regional conflicts while the others had argued those issues could be negotiated separately. (AP)