Javad Zarif: World must stand up to US ‘bullying’

Trump abandoned nuclear deal arguing he wants to rein in Iran’s support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.

Mevlut Cavusoglu - Sergey Lavrov - Javad Zarif meeting in Moscow
Foreign Minister Zarif wrote the US nuclear deal withdrawal discredited the rule of international law [Reuters]

The world should stand up to bullying behaviour by the United States, Iran’s foreign minister said, as he attempts to save a nuclear deal after Washington’s withdrawal last month.

In a letter from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to his counterparts, he asked “the remaining signatories and other trade partners” to “make up for Iran’s losses” caused by the US exit, if they sought to save the historic accord.

The nuclear deal was the result of “meticulous, sensitive and balanced multilateral talks”, Zarif was quoted as saying in the letter, parts of which were published by the state news agency IRNA on Sunday.

He added the landmark 2015 agreement could not be renegotiated as the US has demanded.

Zarif said the US’ “illegal withdrawal” from the deal and its “bullying methods to bring other governments in line” with that decision have discredited the rule of law in the international arena.

Rein in proxies

US President Donald Trump pulled out last month from the accord between Iran and world powers that lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme.

The remaining signatories – France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – still see the international accord as the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and are trying to salvage it.

Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has set out a series of conditions on for European powers if they want Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal, including steps to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.

Trump abandoned the agreement on May 8, arguing he wanted a bigger deal that not only limited Iran’s atomic work but also reined in its support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon and that curbed its ballistic missile programme.

Source: Reuters