Two former Canadian Disarmament Ambassadors, Douglas Roche and Peggy Mason, condemned in the strongest possible terms the May 8th decision by Donald Trump not to renew U.S. sanctions waivers in violation of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK and USA) and Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has ten times certified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement. In contrast, Trump’s reimposition of sanctions is a twofold breach of U.S. commitments under the agreement – firstly, not to reimpose sanctions absent an Iranian violation and secondly, not to interfere with sanctions relief by others through so-called secondary sanctions on non-U.S. entities”, they said.
Mason went on to say:
This is a multilateral agreement so Trump’s reckless action alone cannot kill the deal. However, it is in serious jeopardy unless other parties, particularly France, Germany and the UK, take immediate steps to insulate their companies and banks engaged in trade with Iran from U.S. retaliation”.
The two former Canadian Ambassadors to the UN also underlined the importance of all other parties to the agreement as well as the broader international community, including Canada, to stand firmly behind the agreement:
Through its resolution 2231 of 2015, the UN Security Council called on all member states to do their part to implement this agreement. We therefore call on Canada to stand up for the deal and in particular to take steps to fully protect Canadian companies trading in good faith with Iran.”
Mason underscored the success of this agreement in forestalling Iran’s nuclear program and urged that country to continue abiding by the deal, despite USA provocations. She also noted Iran’s repeated assertions that it would be ready to discuss non-nuclear concerns raised by the USA provided the JCPOA was fully implemented.
She further stated:
The JCPOA is a strong non-proliferation agreement, mandating robust international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities and imposing strict limits on sensitive activities. Rather than building on this agreement, President Trump has inexplicably chosen to walk away from it, with no discernible plan of action for what comes next.”
Former Ambassador Douglas Roche concluded:
This is a terrible day in the long struggle for nuclear disarmament. If the rule of law cannot be upheld, then nightmares for humanity lie ahead. The Non-Proliferation Treaty is seriously — let us hope not fatally — undermined by the Trump action. The Canadian government must vigorously oppose this unwarranted move and re-double its efforts to have the nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states work together to preserve the non-proliferation regime.”
Click here for the reaction of the UK, German and French governments, who are standing firm behind the deal, as well as a stark warning from Former President Barack Obama. Click here for a range of international statements of support and here for initial EU reaction. And for further analysis see: Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal without the U.S.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chyrstia Freeland also issued a statement of support for the JCPOA, while underlining continuing concern over other Iranian activities. Commenting on that statement, former Ambassador Mason noted:
With Trump having walked away from the nuclear deal, it will now be immeasurably more difficult to negotiate in good faith with Iran on other pressing regional security issues.”
Photo credit: USA State Department (showing Signatories to the JCPOA).