- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2017

President Trump’s decision to pull back from the nuclear deal with Iran is a clear insult to U.S. allies who helped broker the Obama-era pact, a top Iranian official said Sunday, predicting the administration’s efforts to decertify the deal will result in chaos and confusion for American interests in the region.

“We don’t see any good fate for Mr. Trump. That he rejects an international agreement is an awkward behavior and a type of insult and mocking at other countries, specially the other five states which negotiated with Iran,” said Mohsen Rezayee, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council. His comments came after a meeting with the German ambassador to Tehran, Michael Klor-Berchtold, the state-run Fars news agency reported.

Germany, along with Britain, Russia, China, France and the United States, made up an international consortium dubbed the P5+1 group, which successfully brokered the Iran nuclear deal under former President Barack Obama. The deal, which on Friday Mr. Trump said he planned to decertify in coming days, eased international restrictions on Iran over Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program in exchange for greater transparency into the program.

Sunday’s meeting between Iranian and German officials in Tehran came as protests over Mr. Trump’s decision engulfed the Iranian capital. “The Iran nuclear deal is not a bilateral accord, and it belongs to no country, and no country is able to terminate it,” said Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani told reporters Saturday in Moscow the Trump administration’s efforts to scuttle the nuclear deal were already having adverse effects on Washington’s ties to members of the P5+1 group.

“We held some talks on Iran’s nuclear issue and the U.S.’ troublesome measures — the measures which have angered everyone as they deny all actions taken by all the countries which have played a role,” Mr. Larijani told reporters after meeting with several senior Russian diplomats.

On Sunday Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov pressed Washington to reconsider its hard-line stance on the nuclear deal, warning U.S. diplomats not to seek any rollback of some of the more contentious elements of the nuclear pact — such as the controversial “sunset clause,” which sees restrictions on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program lifted after 2025.

“There is an American saying our overseas colleagues often use in such situations: ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ That’s what I would like to address to the colleagues in the United States,” Mr. Ryabkov told reporters.

“We note recurring signals from Washington in favor of the so-called improvements of the existing agreement and possible supplements to it, [but] what is to be improved in this context is the implementation of the existing agreements by the U.S. side,” he told state-run news outlet TASS.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, warned the White House decision could trigger a new nuclear arms race. “This could seriously aggravate the situation around the Iranian nuclear dossier,” Mr. Peskov said shortly before Mr. Trump’s announcement at the White House Friday.

“Such action would undoubtedly hurt the atmosphere of predictability, security, stability and nonproliferation in the entire world,” he added.

Top diplomats from several of Washington’s strongest European allies say there has been no evidence of Tehran not complying with the transparency and oversight requirements on its nuclear program included in the deal.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told Congress last week he believed that the Iran deal should remain in place as long as Tehran can clearly demonstrate it is abiding by the tenets of the pact.

But even if Iran is in technical compliance with the nuclear deal, Tehran remains unwilling to live up to the full spirit of the bargain, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.



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