China, Russia rap US JCPOA exit
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday criticized US “unilateralism” in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and said he appreciated efforts by China and Russia to maintain the agreement.
“The US efforts to impose its policies on others are expanding as a threat to all,” Rouhani told the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security grouping led by China and Russia where Iran has observer status.
“The recent example of such unilateralism and the defiance of the decisions of the international community by the US government is its withdrawal from the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the nuclear agreement by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
He stressed that “unilateral sanctions are not only against international rules and regulations, but also damage legitimate international trade.”
The 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers lifted international sanctions on Tehran. In return, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities.
Since US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States last month, calling the agreement deeply flawed, European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.
Rouhani emphasized that the Islamic Republic has so far lived up to all its obligations under the JCPOA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has so far confirmed Iran’s commitment to the terms of the deal.
He appreciated efforts by China and Russia to preserve the nuclear accord, saying, "All signatories to the JCPOA have a responsibility regarding the commitments of removing sanctions under the JCPOA, and based on Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council and Article 25 of the UN Charter, they are responsible to help fully implement the JCOPA and prevent any move that poses an obstacle to its implementation.”
He noted that the remaining parties to the deal have “a limited opportunity” to provide the “necessary guarantee in action to help implement all the agreed conditions in the JCPOA and continue being a party to this agreement.”
“Definitely, the US has monitored the reactions to its withdrawal from the JCPOA and considers the lack of response to its unilateral withdrawal as not being costly, which will have very bad consequences for the international community,” he pointed out.
China, Russia support for JCPOA
Speaking after Rouhani, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed “regret” over the “unilateral” US withdrawal from the JCPOA, saying Beijing is prepared for cooperation with other countries to save the agreement.
“We are upset by the US unilateral decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program. China is willing to work with Russia and other countries to preserve the JCPOA,” Xi said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would continue to abide by the terms of the Iran nuclear deal.
“Our countries are definitely concerned about the current situation regarding the Iranian nuclear program,” Putin said, adding, “The US withdrawal from the JCPOA may destabilize the situation.”
“Russia calls for strict and consistent implementation of this plan,” Putin said. “For our part, we will continue to implement our obligations.”
Threat of terrorism
Elsewhere in his address, the Iranian president warned of the threat posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism to the world, calling for an increase in intelligence exchange between regional countries in a bid to weaken terrorist groups.
The Islamic Republic, he said, “has invaluable experience in the curtailing and weakening of extremist and terrorist currents, an example of which is cooperating with the governments of Iraq and Syria in fighting Daesh terrorists.”
Iran is currently an observer member of the SCO, though it has long sought full membership.
The SCO was formed in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security.
The intergovernmental organization seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good neighborly ties between member countries, contribute to regional stability and facilitate cooperation in different sectors, including political, trade, economic and energy issues.
Reuters, Press TV and TASS contributed to this story.