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European Leaders Call for Defense of Iran Nuclear Deal

Sept. 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—The European Leadership Network (ELN) issued a statement on Sept. 18, signed by 78 former diplomats and military leaders, academics and other prominent individuals calling for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, to be defended, and warning that unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the agreement would cause great harm internationally. The statement’s signatories, who include George Robertson, former British Defense Secretary and former NATO Secretary General; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chair of the Munich Security Conference; Javier Solana, former EU High Representative and NATO Secretary General; and Igor Ivanov, former Russian Foreign Minister, argue that not certifying Iran’s compliance on spurious grounds would damage not only U.S. interests but also U.S. international standing, reports the ELN.

"Unilateral U.S. action that jeopardized the JCPOA would be a grave mistake. It would harm U.S. interests and U.S. credibility in Europe and more widely. It would damage cooperation in the UN Security Council. It would make it harder to keep Iran and its region non-nuclear and more difficult for the United States and her Allies to tackle unacceptable Iranian behavior. Would it make sense to precipitate a second nuclear crisis alongside that with North Korea?"

the statement says. It also stresses that the agreement was composed to do only one thing: prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "But it does at least do this." Therefore, it should not be employed to do other things.

Their advice to the U.S. President and Congress is the following:

  • Address the facts of Iranian compliance on the terms of the deal, not on other points.

  • Consider that this multinational nuclear deal cannot be expected to solve non-nuclear issues and should not be employed in pursuit of bilateral confrontation.

  • Engage with the machinery of the JCPOA to address any U.S. compliance concerns multilaterally.

  • Build on the deal to see whether it can be increased in duration and extended in scope to other countries of the region, as recently urged by leading U.S. and ELN voices.

  • Accept that the fastest path to an Iranian nuclear weapon would be to undermine this agreement.