Macron calls for preserving Iranian nuclear deal

Paris, January 14 (IANS): French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled “the importance of preserving the Iranian nuclear agreement, and the necessary respect by all parties of their commitments under this agreement” in a telephone talk with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


A press release published by the French presidency said this on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported. The French presidency added that Macron and Netanyahu “also referred to the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the continuity of their exchanges of December 10”.


This phone talk came after an ultimatum issued by US President Donald Trump to the Europeans to tighten in the coming months the terms of the agreement reached in 2015 between Iran and the major powers, if they want to avoid Washington’s withdrawal from the deal.


Russia strongly opposes US attempt to renegotiate

Meanwhile, Moscow has a critical attitude toward the latest US statement on reviewing the Iran nuclear deal and will do all it can to resist any attempt to scrape the deal, Russian authorities said on Saturday.


Russia is concerned over the US announcement on holding negotiations with its European allies to revise the Iran nuclear deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, Xinhua reported.


“These negotiations won’t have any effect on our approach towards the nuclear deal and this whole situation … We will be analyzing it in a most critical way and will continue to judge the events in an unflattering way,” Ryabkov said.


He underlined that the deal that was signed in 2015 between Iran, and the P5+1 – Russia, France, China, Britain, the United States, plus Germany, cannot be amended and that Moscow will “oppose any attempts to hamper it.”


“Any attempts by the US side to unseal the JCPOA without consent from all the other parties would directly violate the fundamental principles of international law, and as the matter also concerns the nonproliferation regime, it would also serve as a powerful incentive toward its further erosion,” Kosachyov said.


Will continue to play constructive role: China

China will continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementing the Iran nuclear deal, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.


Wang, who was on an official visit to Rwanda, held a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The two sides exchanged opinions on a statement regarding the Iran nuclear deal made by the US, Xinhua news agency reported.


Continuing to maintain and implement the Iran nuclear deal is the responsibility of all parties concerned, and is the common wish of the international community, said Wang, adding that this will help uphold international non-proliferation regime, maintain regional peace and stability as well as solve other hot issues in the world.


Implementation of the deal hasn’t been derailed, but will face some new complicating factors, said the minister.
He also called on Iran to stay calm and continue to fulfil obligations under the deal.


US President Donald Trump on Friday said he will extend sanctions relief on Iran under the nuclear deal for the last time, threatening a US withdrawal from the pact if the US Congress and his European allies can not fix the alleged “disastrous flaws”.


Trump’s latest move casts doubt on the future of the deal, a successful practice of solving a hotspot issue through political and diplomatic means.


The US Treasury on Friday announced sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, for human rights abuses and supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile programme.


Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Iran will never renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as JCPOA, despite the US pressures.


Chairman of Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov also slamed the US attempt to review the JCPOA as a dangerous violation of international law.