Roland Oliphant Emma Gatten
22 FEBRUARY 2018 • 2:20 PM
Abbas Araghchi, a deputy foreign minister, accused Mr Trump’s administration of violating the agreement by threatening to reimpose sanctions and said Tehran could walk away from the deal if it did not begin to see economic benefits from the deal.
“If we lose the JCPOA we would face another nuclear crisis that would be very difficult to resolve this time,” Mr Araghchi said in London.
“I don’t think the deal can survive in this way, if the atmosphere of confusion continues, if companies or banks will not cooperate with Iran. We cannot stay in a deal in which there is no benefit for us,” he said. “That’s a fact.”
The 2015 agreement between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States obliges Iran to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for relief from
Mr Trump last month said he would refuse to extend relief from American sanctions unless the European signatories to the deal agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal.”
He said he wants Britain, France, and Germany to help rewrite the deal to prevent Iran from resuming nuclear research and development in next decade, which it is allowed to do under the current agreement.
US sanctions will resume on May 12 unless Mr Trump signs a fresh waiver to suspend them.
Mr Araghchi said the restrictions on activities like uranium enrichment and centrifuge building were temporary “confidence building” measures and that to suggest they should be made permanent was “ridiculous.”
And he warned against attempts to tie the agreement to other points of dispute, such as Iran’s ballistic missile program or regional conflicts.
“It would be a big mistake if anyone tried to link JCPOA to other issues,” he said. “You would just lose the JCPOA and make those problems worse.”
The role of the US is crucial because many European and British businesses and banks are exposed to US regulations, making them wary of trading with Iran even if their own governments have lifted sanctions.
Mr Araghchi was speaking in London at the beginning of a visit to discuss the nuclear deal and bilateral issues with UK officials.