Last night, behind closed doors, members of the P5+1 powers, who negotiated the original JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) in 2013, met behind closed doors to discuss the apparent willingness of the United States to scrap the deal, in spite of the fact that the UN and even the US State Department have said that Iran is in full compliance with the terms of the agreement.
The P5+1 is comprised of Iran, China, Russia, the United States, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union.
China and Russia have made it clear that they support the JCPOA and see Iran as a valuable partner. With Donald Trump telling the world that the deal is an “embarrassment”, it was left for Nikki Haley to tell the world that the US has not made up its mind on the JCPOA, in a clear illustration of the lack of direction in the Trump White House as well as the Department of State more widely.
While the EU typically takes a subservient role to the US, last night, the EU came out strongly in favour of the Iranian position.
EU Foreign Policy head Federica Mogherini, who recently visited Iran to celebrate the oath taking of President Hassan Rouhani after his recent election victory, said the following,
“This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear program and potentially prevented a military intervention.
…We all agreed on the fact that there is no violation, that the nuclear program-related aspects, which is all the agreement, are being fulfilled”.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was present at the meeting, admitted that Iran is in compliance with the deal but that nevertheless, Donald Trump has made a decision regarding the US position on the JCPOA, but that Trump has not told anyone, including Tillerson what that decision is.
Donald Trump’s cloak and dagger politics, is something more fit for reality TV than for serious negotiations with fellow states, including traditional allies. The majority of the world, including some of America’s closest allies support the JCPOA and see no need to amend any details nor criticise Iran, as Iran has not done a single thing in contravention of the agreement.
It is not clear if Donald Trump has told Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu what he has decided. Both men are among the only leaders in the world opposed to the deal. Netanyahu devoted much of his speech before the UN General Assembly to praising Trump for his stated opposition to the JCPOA.