Russia, China Vow To Block U.S. Attempt To ‘Sabotage’ Iran Nuke Deal
In their most explicit declaration to date, Russia and China, which are both parties to the Iran nuclear deal, publicly vowed to thwart ongoing efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to modify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as it is formally known, by devising a follow-on agreement that closes what he views as major loopholes in the accord. “We consider it very counterproductive…[and] will obstruct attempts to sabotage these agreements which were enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. The message was delivered on the same day that Iran’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, asserted in reference to the pact that “it’s either all or nothing,” whereas Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned of “severe consequences” if Washington pulls out of the deal. The U.S. president has been actively lobbying Britain, France and Germany to formulate a side-agreement that addresses the JCPOA’s “sunset clauses,” which remove restrictions on Iran’s ability to enrich uranium in just over a decade’s time; curbs Tehran’s ballistic missile program; and punishes the Islamic Republic for its role in fomenting regional unrest. On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron—who is currently on a state visit to Washington—openly urged his American counterpart to stick with deal, saying that there is no “plan B” if the White House decides to re-impose sanctions on Tehran by a May 12 deadline. His comments came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s Channel 10 that an imperfect deal is better than none at all. Accordingly, it appears as though the deck is stacked against President Trump, raising the specter that he will indeed follow through and torpedo the accord. In such an eventuality, Tehran has threatened to “vigorously” resume enriching uranium, a precursor to an atomic bomb.