Report: Kerry met Iranian foreign minister in attempt to salvage nuclear deal

Zarif insisted on Thursday that his government has implemented its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 5, 2018 11:40
2 minute read.
Report: Kerry met Iranian foreign minister in attempt to salvage nuclear deal

Former United States Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, at the United Nations in New York, September 26, 2015.. (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE KEITH)

 
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Former US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif two weeks ago in a bid to salvage the 2015 nuclear agreement signed between Iran and world powers, according to the Boston Globe.

Kerry reportedly met Zarif at the United Nations in New York for a second meeting in as many months amid threats by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the agreement by May 12.

According to the Globe, the Obama administration's top diplomat has also met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir, French President Emmanuel Macron on two occasions, and spoken on the phone with the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in an attempt to save the agreement that he spent years negotiating with other world leaders.

Kerry refused to respond to the Globe report.

Reuters reported last week that Trump has “all but decided” to withdraw from the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and to allow nuclear-related sanctions on Iran that were suspended under the nuclear deal to snap back into effect.

Zarif insisted on Thursday that his government has implemented its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers fully and in “good faith” – just days after Israel and the Trump administration accused the Iranians of lying about the nature of their nuclear work at its outset.

“Iran will not renegotiate what was agreed years ago and has been implemented,” Zarif said. “Let me make it absolutely clear, and once and for all: we will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith.”

Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believe they fueled the argument for a US withdrawal this week after Israel unveiled a cache of Iran’s nuclear-weapons files, obtained in a Mossad raid in Tehran earlier this year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018. (AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Trump and Netanyahu say the archive, stowed secretly in a warehouse by top Iranian officials and undeclared to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency despite being required by the deal to disclose all their past nuclear work, reveals Tehran’s true intentions under the 2015 accord – and that its entry into the agreement was based on “lies.”

Kerry said on Tuesday that Netanyahu's presentation of the archive proved the need for the agreement, adding that the deal was working.

"Every detail PM Netanyahu presented yesterday was every reason the world came together to apply years of sanctions and negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement - because the threat was real and had to be stopped. It's working!" wrote Kerry on Twitter.

Michael Wilner contributed to this story.

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