Iranian FM: World must stand up to American ‘bullying’ over nuclear deal
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Iranian FM: World must stand up to American ‘bullying’ over nuclear deal

Zarif says Washington cannot ‘arbitrarily and irresponsibly reject’ accord ‘based on domestic policy or political differences with a former administration’

In this April 24, 2018, photo, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,)
In this April 24, 2018, photo, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,)

Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday called on the international community to stand up to the US government’s “bullying” over the 2015 nuclear deal.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said the “Illegal withdrawal of the US government from the [accord], especially bullying methods used by this government to bring other governments in line, has discredited the rule of law while challenging the principles of the UN Charter and efficiency of international bodies,” according to the IRNA news agency.

China, Russia and the Western European powers of UK, France, and Germany, all of which signed the 2015 nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to quit the agreement and reinstate sanctions.

Zarif restated Tehran’s position that no changes could be made to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and no new negotiations would be held.

“The JCPOA does not belong only to its signatories in a way that one side will be able to arbitrarily and irresponsibly reject it based on its domestic policy or political differences with a former ruling administration,” he said.

Zarif added that Iran would only remain in the accord if the remaining signatories give assurances that they will make up for any damage caused by the US withdrawal.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R), France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (2nd L), Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Britain’s Foreign Secretary arrive for a meeting of EU/E3 with Iran at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 15, 2018. (AFP Photo/Pool/Olivier Matthys)

The EU and China said Friday they will do their utmost to keep the international agreement afloat.

Trump faulted the deal for not addressing Iran’s ballistic missile program or support for regional terror groups, while also arguing it brought the Iranians closer to obtaining nuclear weapons.

His criticism of the deal has been echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will travel to Germany, France and Britain on Monday for talks expected to focus on Iran.

On Saturday Fox News reported that Iran has been continuing its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, citing an intelligence report published by a German state intelligence agency.

The Iranian efforts were heavily focused on the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg, which is home to many specialized technology and engineering companies, the report said.

The report said Tehran’s activities focused on trying to acquire “German software, sophisticated vacuum and control engineering technologies, measurement devices, and advanced electrical equipment for its missile program.”

Agencies contributed to this report.

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