Save the Iran nuclear deal
We, the undersigned, thank you for your speech on 8th May 2018, pledging the European Union’s intention to remain steadfast in its commitment to the historic accord concluded between Iran and the E3/EU+3, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Too often, politicians have inclined to patronise and admonish, but, instead, you opted for a “universal language” of respect and dialogue. You proclaimed that “[t]his deal belongs to each and every one of us”, and that it enjoins us not to “let anyone dismantle this agreement”. But despite such salutary remarks, in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s public announcement to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose sanctions on Iran, the survival of the agreement is far from assured.
The majority of Iranians have demonstrated their heartfelt support for this hard-won diplomatic accord. They have shown their support through their two-time election of a president promising to initiate constructive dialogue with the world, patiently awaiting the outcome of a long and arduous series of negotiations despite the debilitating impact of sanctions on their everyday lives, celebrating in the streets of major Iranian cities when the JCPOA was successfully agreed upon, and finally, announcing their approbation of the agreement in over 100 cities across the globe in the weeks and months that followed.
In your speech you stated that “the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the Nuclear Deal”. We wholeheartedly welcome this commitment, but as you are fully apprised, it is crucial that Europe is able to discharge its international obligations and ensure, despite U.S. sanctions, that Iran and its people enjoy the full economic and political dividends promised according to not only the letter, but also the spirit of the JCPOA. The IAEA has repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance and honouring of its commitments under the agreement, and this ought to be reciprocated in turn.
In an increasingly unstable global climate and ever-more precarious “age of extremes”, it is essential that one of the great diplomatic successes of the 21st century not find itself carelessly squandered. By your own estimation it took some twelve years for this agreement to be reached. If Europe in coordination with its Russian and Chinese partners prove unable to salvage the JCPOA, the likelihood of further instability in the region and even war increases exponentially.
While the JCPOA showed that diplomacy is possible, in view of recent events and President Trump’s reneging on the accord, the message to the world shouldn’t be that peace is inevitably transient and short-lived. For every one of us who is committed to fostering peace through reasonable dialogue and mutual understanding, preserving the integrity and viability of the JCPOA is of inestimable importance. Trust in the European Union, UN Security Council and wider international community is at stake, as well as their credibility to tackle many of the enormous challenges which lie ahead in the years to come.
The Iranian people backed peace and diplomacy. Now it is the responsibility of the international community to demonstrate that they made the right decision and that the promises that were made will be carried out and effectively realised. Failure is not an option. The alternative path is simply too costly, not only for the present generation, but for posterity as well.