Germany's Foreign Minister Urges to Keep Nuclear Deals
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned the US against breaking the nuclear deal with Iran, since it would make North Korea unlikely to agree to any international deals concerning its nuclear program.
Mr. Gabriel was quoted as saying,“Our big concern is, with regard to North Korea, that it is very unlikely the North Korean dictatorship is ready to agree to an international agreement to renounce the building of nuclear weapons if the only agreement in the world that has allowed such a renunciation is" not maintained.
Many observers have concluded that President Trump doesn’t seem to be eager to negotiate with North Korea. For example, on Monday he left comments at his Twitter account to the effect that the United States has given “billions of dollars” to North Korea and received nothing in return. US negotiators were only made look like “fools” for 25 years.
One of his other comments posted included this quote: “Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
Those words suggest that a military option is under consideration, observers say.
Another indication that the Trump administration is seriously considering military intervention on the Korean peninsula relates to recent military exerices jointly being conducted by South Korea and the U.S.
The Foreign Minister maintained that going back on the deal would also worsen the international security situation.
According to Mr. Gabriel, Germany is ready to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran, but “we do not want to see this agreement damaged.”
Mr.Gabriel repeatedly has urged the US to comply with the deal, stressing that breaking it would only jeopardize international security. On Sunday, he said that the “world will change” if the United States withdraws from the agreement, since doing so would mean “replacing the rule of law with the law of the strongest.”
The nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in 2015 by the P5+1 group (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US) and the European Union. While Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program for 15 years, the international community promised to ease the pre-existing sanctions imposed on the country.
For years the U.S. and the European Union had accused Iran of enriching uranium for purposes of building nuclear weapons, although it denied that it was embarked on such a program. Often Iran replied that it was enriching uranium only by a factor of 5-10% and that the resulting material was appropriate only for providing fuel for nuclear power plants or material for treating certain types of cancer.
For its part, during the past ten years Israel has threatened to launch aerial attacks against purported nuclear facilities in Iran.
On Monday Mr. Gabriel echoed the statement made in September by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after the UN General Assembly in New York. Lavrov urged the US to resolve issues with Iran through channels specifically designed for this purpose, and to abstain from attempts to bring down the nuclear deal with Tehran.
Dismantling of the nuclear deal was one of the main points of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. During his presidency he accused Iran of breaking the “spirit” of the deal.
During a speech at Tehran University, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that the benefits that Tehran has already gained from the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers are “irreversible” and no one, including the US President Donald Trump, can take them back.
As a result of the 2015 nuclear agreement also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran “has achieved benefits that are irreversible”
President Rouhani went on to say that no one can possibly reverse the effects of the deal.
He said that during negotiations resulting in the 2015 deal, Iran demonstrated what he called "political might" and the ability of its diplomats to negotiate successfully with world powers.
The president then warned that a violation of the deal by the US would be harmful primarily to the interests of the United States, saying that much of the world community will condemn the U.S. for going back on a successful agreement, making it clear that the reputation of the United States would be sullied.
Earlier on Saturday, Iran's Foreign Minister weighed in on the recent disputes between the Trump administration and Iran, saying that breeching the agreement would not help "peace and security in the region."
At the same time, he warned that Tehran could partially or completely withdraw from the deal if it were violated by the US. He went on to say that the previous US sanctions made Iran “immune” to any future restrictive measures so Iran would not submit to any threats from Washington.
The Foreign Minister criticized the U.S. for its overuse of sanctions.
The statements came just days after President Trump discussed the Iranian nuclear deal with the leading US military officials. During that meeting, the US president once again accused Iran of violating the “spirit” of the agreement and included Iran in a list of "challenges we should've taken care of a long time ago.”
However, Mr. Trump did not comment on whether he plans to re-certify the deal, as the October 15 deadline for certification draws near.
If the Trump administration chose to decertify the deal, Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran. In effect, doing so end the agreement.
The deal, which the US entered back in 2015 under then President Barack Obama’s administration, envisages Iran Tehran limiting its nuclear program for fifteen years in exchange for easing the pre-existing sanctions.