Rouhani: Party that Scraps JCPOA Damages Own Reputation

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described the 2015 nuclear deal as “a litmus test” for the world community, saying any party that walks away from the multilateral accord would be damaging its own reputation.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani said the signatories that choose to honor their sides of the bargain are in fact protecting their own international reputation, adding that “if any side fails to stand committed to the deal, it would be tarnishing its own reputation.”

 He also noted that the number of countries and regimes that support Washington’s hostile stance on the nuclear deal could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

On the contrary, he said, “Today, the world backs the path that the Islamic Republic of Iran has chosen and there is no one, even among the US’s allies in Europe, who supports destroying the agreement.”

In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, US President Donald Trump replied “No” to a question about whether he feels a responsibility to honor agreements from previous US administrations.

Referring to Trump’s comments, Rouhani said, “It is really a shame for a government whose argument that it opposes any work by the former legitimate government.”

The nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries- namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany - in July 2015 and took effect 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 administration of Trump, which took over a year after the JCPOA had come into force, has repeatedly attacked the agreement.

While it has twice certified Iranian compliance with the deal in notifications to the US Congress under an American law, the White House has indicated that a third verification - due later this week - would not be offered.

If Trump refuses to certify, the Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to restore the sanctions against the Islamic Republic that the US has agreed to waive under the deal.

By potentially re-imposing the nuclear-related bans, the US would be stopping the implementation of major obligations under the agreement, which would practically be equal to a pullout even if an official declaration of withdrawal is not released.

Elsewhere in his comments, Rouhani emphasized, “The JCPOA is a major test for world governments and that remaining committed to it constitutes a basis for confidence-building around the globe.”

“If the ill-wishing side, our rival and enemy, leaves an agreement, this is not a defeat for us, but rather a defeat for the opposite side,” he stressed.

Unlike the US, European countries as well as Russia and China have underlined the need to sustain the JCPOA.

On Tuesday, Austria’s permanent representative to the UN Jan Kickert stressed that the Iran nuclear deal will continue to stand even if Washington withdraws from it.

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