London, 25 May - The five countries that remain in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will meet in Vienna today in a desperate bid to save the accord, which Iran warned was “in intensive care” after the US withdrawal earlier this month.
At Iran’s request, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany will gather for the first time since signing the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
US withdrawal and Iranian belligerence
The US was not invited, following Donald Trump’s announcement on May 8 about pulling out of the deal, which he said failed to protect US national security, didn’t go far enough to tackle Iran’s nuclear threat, didn’t stop Iran from using ballistic missiles, and failed to contain Iran’s regional expansionism.
A senior Iranian official rejected the US’s attempts to tackle the other issues caused by Iran within the framework of the nuclear deal and actually threatened to make the other issues “more complicated to resolve” if Europe attempted to appease Trump in this way.
He also claimed that Europe had promised an “economic package” to Iran, which was expected by the end of May, to give Iran the same benefits of the JCPOA, despite US sanctions being introduced.
He gave the impression that if this was not received, then Iran would pull out of the deal as well, which is worrying as various Iranian officials have already threatened to restart enriching uranium at an “industrial level” within days of being given the order by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Keeping the deal alive
The other signatories to the deal have been jumping through hoops to keep the Iran deal going, whether through fear at Iran’s threats or in order to keep trading with the country that is the number one state supporter of terrorism in the world.
While the European countries do agree with the US about the need to tackle Iran on the nuclear issue and all of the other threats from Iran, they are unwilling to withdraw from the 2015 deal, but they have previously said that they are not ruling out further talks with Iran about these issues. It is unlikely that Europe will be able to bring up these issues today, as Iran has previously stated that they will not discuss these threats.
The only sure-fire way of ending these threats from Iran is to pull out of the deal, impose sanctions which will cripple the economy, and support regime change by and for the people of Iran.