Iran's FM: It's in US interest to stay committed to nuclear pact

Mohammad Zarif's strong statement makes waves as US President-elect Donald Trump continues to vocally oppose the nuclear agreement.

December 8, 2016 12:12
1 minute read.

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif adresses US committment to nuclear deal (Reuters)

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif adresses US committment to nuclear deal (Reuters)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a seminar in Tokyo on Thursday, when filming was not allowed, that it was in the interest of the United States to remain committed to a multilateral nuclear treaty.

The US Senate voted last week to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years, and Iran vowed to retaliate, saying it violated last year's agreement with six major powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions.

A diplomatic thaw between the United States and Iran over the past two years appears in jeopardy with US President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month.

Trump said during his election campaign he would scrap the nuclear agreement, calling the pact "a disaster" and saying it could lead to a "nuclear holocaust".

Zarif, in Japan as part of an Asian tour that included India and China, told the seminar that while the agreement was multilateral and endorsed by the UN Security Council,  this did not mean it might not be violated by the United States, which he said had a "less than respectable" history in respecting international laws.

US officials said the ISA renewal would not infringe on the nuclear agreement.

US lawmakers have also said the ISA extension would make it easier for sanctions to be quickly reimposed if Iran contravened the nuclear deal.

But Iran's nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who played a central role in reaching the nuclear deal, described the extension as a "clear violation", if implemented.

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