Senior Iranian diplomat: US is serious about killing nuclear deal

Al-Monitor- Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, says the US government is serious about damaging the nuclear deal. In an interview with the semi-official ISNA news agency, Kharrazi, who served as foreign minister under Reformist President Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), said Sept. 12 that the Europeans would resist the US government’s attempts to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries (United States, France, United Kingdom, China, Russia and Germany) in 2015.

The Strategic Council on Foreign Relations was formed on the order of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2006. It is tasked with preparing strategies and policies that will further Iran’s foreign policy objectives. Kharrazi serves alongside fellow former minister Ali Akbar Velayati as a key foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Asked about to what extent the Europeans would back Iran in the face of the US plan to kill the nuclear deal, Kharrazi said, “Friendship and moral commitments aren’t [considered as] criteria in [foreign policy], and countries support a particular policy as long as it secures their interests.” He added, “At the moment, the interests of the Europeans are [secured through] resisting American policies because their policies are different from the US policy toward the JCPOA, and their resistance to American pressure is necessary to maintain their independence.”

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