Iran urges IAEA to remain independent amid US pressure

Al-Monitor- Despite having done so already twice, albeit under severe pressure from his own Cabinet, US President Donald Trump has made his intentions clear to American journalists that he does not plan on certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. European leaders have warned the United States to not walk away from the nuclear deal. However, on Aug. 23, Trump dispatched US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to Vienna to press the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Yukiya Amano on their reading of Iran’s compliance.

It is not clear yet how Iran, or Europe, will respond if Trump decides to not recertify Iran’s compliance and does not waive US sanctions on Iran. Diplomatically however, Iran is not waiting for that moment and is answering back. In a letter dated Aug. 19 but released Aug. 23, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was the lead negotiator in the nuclear talks, warned about US adherence to the nuclear deal.

Zarif wrote, “The publicly stated purpose of this visit raises several serious concerns over further violations of the letter and spirit of” the nuclear deal by the United States. He continued that the way Haley’s trip was publicized sends a detrimental message regarding “further uncertainty and ambiguity … among other governments and the private sector with regard to the stability and future sustainability” of the nuclear deal. If the United States does not certify Iran’s compliance, many European companies would likely pull out rather than face US sanctions. Currently, despite both Presidents Barack Obama and Trump having certified Iran’s compliance, many large European banks refuse to deal with Iran due to fears over uncertainties regarding existing US sanctions.

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