Iranian negotiator doubtful about EU’s commitment to JCPOA: MP

Tasnim– A senior Iranian negotiator involved in the nuclear negotiations with world powers is doubtful that the European parties to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will remain committed to the international pact, an MP said.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, MP Seyed Javad Abtahi pointed to a closed session of the parliament held on Sunday for discussions on the JCPOA’s future and said that during the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi, also one of the senior Iranian nuclear negotiators, described the JCPOA duration as “short”.

According to the lawmaker, Araqchi further emphasized that the Iranian negotiators are doubtful that the European parties would remain in the deal without the US.

The Europeans do not want to enter a political and commercial war with the US, the MP quoted Araqchi as saying.

Araqchi also said one of the reasons that Iran cannot be confident about Europeans’ stance is that it is difficult to unify the views of all 37 European countries, and the European parties cannot convince all of these countries, according to Abtahi.

On Sunday, a number of Iran’s top diplomats and administration officials attended a closed session of the parliament about the future of the JCPOA.

Last week, Zarif made a tight diplomatic trip for negotiations on how to save the JCPOA in the wake of the US withdrawal from the multilateral nuclear deal.

The foreign minister held meetings with Chinese and Russian officials in Beijing and Moscow and then traveled to Brussels for talks with the European parties to the JCPOA.

He was gauging international readiness to guarantee Iran’s interests if it decides to remain in the nuclear pact a week after US President Donald Trump announced that the US was walking away from the JCPOA.

In a speech from the White House on May 8, Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the 2015 agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the controversial decision, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran weighs plans to remain in the agreement with the other five parties, provided that they ensure full benefits for Iran.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the deal running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the three European parties to the JCPOA.