Trump responsible for Iran halting of some commitments in JCPOA: Nephew

TEHRAN, May 11 (MNA) – Richard Nephew, who served as the lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran, is of the opinion that I can understand why Iran is preparing to halt its implementation of these key parts of the JCPOA and “do not deny at all the responsibility that the Trump Administration bears in this matter.”

The fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University says that “I have long believed that the JCPOA could not survive without US sanctions relief.”

He also says that “Today's action shows why: Iran will not continue to provide nuclear concessions without economic access.”

Following is the text of the interview:

Iran is preparing to halt its implementation of some key parts of the JCPOA for 60 days. What is your assessment of this?

It is deeply concerning that Iran is preparing to halt its implementation of these key parts of the JCPOA, especially on low enriched uranium.

Although I can understand why Iran is doing so and do not deny at all the responsibility that the Trump Administration bear in this matter, the reality is that restarting the buildup of uranium stocks will create further instability and threat in the Middle East and do nothing to solve Iran's economic problems.

This action means that Iran has now joined the United States in escalating the situation and, ultimately, I think has contributed to the risk of conflict in the region.

What is the future of JCPOA according to new development?

I have long believed that the JCPOA could not survive without US sanctions relief.  Today's action shows why: Iran will not continue to provide nuclear concessions without economic access.

I therefore believe that the JCPOA's future is very bleak and that the agreement may expire as early as a few months from now.

What is the reaction of President Trump administration especially aggressive wing such as person like Bolton to Iran decision?

I do not believe that this is a reasonable assessment of Bolton's role in the Trump Administration.  He remains in the driver's seat with respect to a variety of policies, especially on Iran, and even if he were to be removed, his views of Iran are shared by many others in the Administration.

What's the point of President Rouhani message (JCPOA is a win-win or lose-lose game) for the other side?

Well, clearly, President Rouhani is trying to encourage the United States to return to the agreement and to generate pressure on the United States to do so from other participating countries. 

I understand why he is doing it.  I do think that, at this point, it is probably a futile gesture given the inadequacy of European, Russian and Chinese pressure on the United States to reverse course to date.

Interview by Javad Heirannia

ZZ

News Code 145118

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