Image credit: Pugwash - Photo: 2018

Pugwash, UN and ICAN Warn of Ramifications of US Quitting Iran Nuclear Deal

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – The announcement by President Donald Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal is “a costly mistake that can hold wide-ranging ramifications beyond its strictly nuclear parameters,” the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize winner Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs have warned.

The decision undoes many years of constructive and patient diplomacy between Iran and the P5+1, which produced a landmark agreement in non-proliferation, said Pugwash president Sergio Duarte and Secretary-General Paolo Cotta Ramusino in a statement on May 9.

Concurring with the Pugwash, the 2017 Nobel Peace laureate ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) said: “Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal not only blows up a functioning agreement, it also deals a significant blow to U.S. credibility as a partner in contract & diplomacy during a time when North Korea will no doubt be watching. By decertifying the Iran deal, President Trump has moved the doomsday clock closer to midnight, and could put us all under greater threat of war and nuclear weapons use.”

The Pugwash president and secretary-general said: “It [the agreement] not only imposed upon Iran the most intrusive and comprehensive inspection regime, but the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, providing a measure of certainty regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

The United Nations atomic energy agency Director General Yukiya Amano reaffirmed in a statement on May 9: “The IAEA is closely following developments related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As requested by the United Nations Security Council and authorised by the IAEA Board of Governors in 2015, the IAEA is verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

“Iran is subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime under the JCPOA, which is a significant verification gain. As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented by Iran.”

Earlier on May 8, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated that “the JCPOA represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security.”

The Pugwash leaders said: “One overarching consequence of the U.S. withdrawal is the undermining of confidence in existing (and future) arms control and disarmament agreements. The decision brings further uncertainty in an already complex and tense global environment. At this critical time of potential denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula, this dangerous signal risks eroding trust in multilateral processes and further damage the nuclear non-proliferation regime in particular.”

Against this backdrop, Guterres advised: “It is essential that all concerns regarding the implementation of the Plan be addressed through the mechanisms established in the JCPOA. Issues not directly related to the JCPOA should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments.”

The Pugwash statement welcomes Iran President Rouhani’s remark that they will consult with other partners to preserve the deal. “In this vein, we also welcome the statements by the remaining signatories that they remain committed to implementation of the agreement for the sake of common security.”

The Pugwash leaders urge all parties involved to avoid further actions that may increase tension, particularly to a precarious Middle East. The region is already beset with conflicts that will require diplomatic engagement from all states to change the dynamics causing insecurity. Now is a time for responsible leadership from those remaining in the JCPOA and we call on the international community to support them in this endeavour.

Guterres also called on other JCPOA participants to abide fully by their respective commitments under the JCPOA and on all other Member States to support this agreement. [IDN-InDepthNews – 10 May 2018]

Image credit: Pugwash

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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