US no longer party to JCPOA: EU on Washington’s anti-Iran bid

Press TV – The European Union foreign policy chief says the US is no longer a party to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and major world powers, pointing to the limitations that Washington is facing in its avowed bid to extend an arms embargo under the deal against Tehran that is going to expire in October.

“It’s clear that in the statement by [US] President [Donald] Trump and the US presidential memorandum of last May, they announced that he was ending his participation in JCPOA,” Josep Borrell told the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty media outlet on Thursday.

He was referring by acronym to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the landmark agreement that came about in Vienna in July 2015, lifting nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.

The US, though, left the deal in May 2018 and returned the sanctions, although, all of the deal’s other parties in addition to the EU and the United Nations have constantly called it a pillar of regional and international peace and security.

Washington also returned the sanctions in another illegal and unilateral move targeting the JCPOA that has been endorsed by the UN Security Council in the form of a resolution.

Under the resolution, a ban imposed on sales of conventional weapons to Iran will expire this October. Washington, though, has not only defied all calls on it to return to the deal and lift the sanctions, but also vowed to do all in its power to prevent removal of the arms ban.

Borrel, in another part of his remarks, reminded, “And I also want to recall that the US has not participated in any meetings of activities within the framework of this [nuclear] agreement since then. So it’s quite clear for us that the US are no longer a participating member in this agreement.”

The EU official, however, did not rule out the prospect of the US going to the Security Council to ask for an embargo against the Islamic Republic, adding, “Let’s see what the Security Council decides then.”

European officials told CNN on Wednesday that Britain, France, and Germany — the three European parties to the JCPOA who are all Washington’s allies — would not back its call for renewing the weapons ban.

China and Russia, which have invariably joined the chorus of criticism against the US’ departure from the JCPOA and renewal of its nuclear-related sanctions, are also highly expected to oppose Washington’s bid.

IMF loan

The EU official also said he did not oppose the prospect of the International Monetary Fund’s lending money to Iran to help the country battle the new coronavirus outbreak.

Regarding the European Union’s approach towards Iran during the coronavirus crisis and the call for sanctions relief and offering a significant sum in humanitarian aid to Iran, the EU Foreign Policy Chief said he personally advocates giving aid to Iran and supports Iran’s application to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $5 billion loan to combat coronavirus.

“As for the terms of any possible loan, this is the matter for the IMF in line with established procedures to ensure the effective use of such support. It is not the first time that the IMF gives financial assistance with conditionality and they have their ways and means to ensure effective use of the support they have granted,” Borrell added.

The Islamic Republic that has lost more than 6,000 people to the infection so far has put out a request for a $5 billion loan, but Washington has — in line with its changeless anti-Tehran policy and maximum pressure campaign — opposed dispensation of the sum by the world body.