In Multipolarity

AFP, Nov 15, 2016

Iran’s missile programme is “non-negotiable” and tests will continue, foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on Tuesday, following criticism from European Union diplomats.

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran in March 2016 (Mahmood Hosseini, Tasnim News)

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran in March 2016 (Mahmood Hosseini, Tasnim News)

“Iran’s defence capabilities cannot be compromised and are under no circumstance negotiable,” he told state television IRIB. “Missile tests are conducted within the framework of Iran’s defence policies.”

A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday urged Tehran to refrain from ballistic missile testing.

Iran’s military has carried out a number of missile tests in recent months, which the United States and European governments have said are a breach of its commitments under last year’s nuclear deal. Western powers say the missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads and therefore go against the deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of global sanctions.

The EU foreign ministers called on all sides to respect the agreement — reflecting concerns over US president-elect Donald Trump’s vow to ditch it.

Ghasemi welcomed the EU’s “interest and determination to develop ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the renewed emphasis on the commitment of this union in the full implementation by all sides” of the nuclear deal.

The EU has been pushing to open an office in Tehran amid a surge in interest from European companies hoping to resume trade ties.

But there has been push-back from Iranian conservatives, who say the office would be used to press human rights issues, and Ghasemi said last week it was “unlikely such an office would be opened… in the short term”.

The head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, which falls under the hardline judiciary, said last month: “If this office is used for following up trade issues, there is no problem. But they have said that following the opening of this office, they want to have close contacts with human rights defenders and NGOs.

“So they should know that the judiciary will definitely not allow such a den of corruption to be established inside Iran,” he said, according to the ISNA news agency.


Trump unable to scrap 2015 nuclear deal with Iran

Report on Press TV, Friday, Nov 11, 2016

U.S. Republican president-elect Donald Trump promised in his election campaign that he would tear up the nuclear deal between Iran and the ‘P5+1’ group dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Press TV has interviewed two political experts on that issue.

Frank Emspak, a radio producer and political commentator from Madison, Wisconsin in the United States said on Thursday night that Trump would not be able to scrap the JCPOA because the U.S. president-elect is not the only one who decides on the deal. He said the Europeans and Russia are the main obstacle in his way to potentially nullify the multilateral agreement.

“I think that’s not so easy to tear up a treaty depending on all the legalities and the fact that it is multilateral. I don’t think he would act unilaterally in doing this,” Emspak said. Such an action against an internationally-recognized deal, he said, would really “raise major issues with our European allies,” some of which are signatories to the accord.

Trump has said he wants to cooperate with Russia to deal with the Daesh problem. Given that Moscow is an ally of Tehran in fighting Daesh, tearing up the JCPOA would be contradicting attempts for cooperation with Russia, the analyst argued.

Michael Lane, president of the American Institute for Foreign Policy from Washington, pointed to Trump’s promise to renounce the nuclear deal. “It’s not clear he will actually do that. He may do it, but at the same time, he will keep all of the provisions of the nuclear deal in place, while ongoing talks and while a relationship with the government of Iran is established,” he said.

“Donald Trump is very, very big on having existing relationships that he can leverage with world leaders, but at the end he’s going to be less patient than [current US President] Barack Obama,” Lane added.

The JCPOA, which took effect in January, ended nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on the country’s nuclear program. However, Iran complains that the United States has not complied with its commitments under the accord.

Background:
The Iran nuclear deal framework, Wikipedia.

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