Monday, April 23, 2018

Iran: No 'Plan B' On Nuclear Deal

Iran on nuclear deal: No 'plan B,' it's 'all or nothing'

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Monday’s developments as they unfold.

Iran on nuclear deal: No ‘Plan B,’ it’s ‘all or nothing’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Europe must persuade US President Donald Trump to remain a party in the 2015 nuclear deal and uphold his share of the bargain.
“President Macron is correct in saying there’s no “‘Plan B’ on JCPOA,” he tweets. “It’s either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage President Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more importantly to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith.”

Threat of nuclear weapons use growing, UN warns

A top UN official on Monday denounces growing rhetoric claiming that nuclear arms are necessary and warned that the risk of such weapons being used was on the rise.
“The threat of the use, intentional or otherwise, of nuclear weapons is growing,” the UN’s top representative for disarmament affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, tells a preliminary review meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The NPT, which was introduced at the height of the Cold War a half century ago, seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons but also puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.
But speaking at the opening of the Geneva meeting, Nakamitsu warns that “the world today faces similar challenges to the context that gave birth to the NPT.”
The preparatory committee in advance of the 2020 NPT review conference comes after North Korea, which pulled out of the treaty 15 years ago, declared a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests and said it would dismantle its nuclear test site.
Nakamitsu hails the announcement, voicing hope that the move “will contribute to building trust and to sustaining an atmosphere for sincere dialogue and negotiations.”
She warns however that the overall “geopolitical environment is deteriorating.”
“Some of the most important instruments and agreements that comprise our collective security framework are being eroded,” she says.
“Rhetoric about the necessity and utility of nuclear weapons is on the rise,” she says, stressing that “modernization programs by nuclear-weapons states are leading to what many see as a new, qualitative arms race.”

In Beijing, Russian FM vows to ‘obstruct’ US exit from nuclear deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meeting with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, says Moscow and Beijing will “obstruct” US efforts to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
“We are against revising these agreements, we consider it very counterproductive to try to reduce to zero years of international work carried out via talks between the six major powers and Iran,” he says in Beijing, according to Reuters.
“We will obstruct attempts to sabotage these agreements which were enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution,” adds Lavrov.
Russia and China are parties in the 2015 accord.
US President Donald Trump is threatening to tear up the 2015 agreement aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear efforts unless European capitals agree to supplement it with tougher controls on Iran’s missile program and future ability to return to nuclear fuel enrichment.
Iran is upping the rhetoric in return — with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warning Saturday that Tehran is ready to “vigorously” resume enrichment if the United States ditches the nuclear accord.

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