US President Barack Obama marks Iran deal anniversary with warning to Donald Trump

January 16, 2017 10:05 pm

President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, January 10, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

is marking the first anniversary of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran by warning the incoming administration not to undermine the internationally-negotiated accord.
“The must remember that this agreement was the result of years of work, and represents an agreement between the world’s major powers — not simply the and Iran,” Obama said in a statement on Monday.
The outgoing president said the nuclear agreement “must be measured against the alternatives,” and that it was preferable to another war in the Middle East.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany – signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14, 2015 following months of intense negotiations. The two sides started implementing the deal on January 16 last year.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against the country.
Obama, who is leaving office at noon Friday, said Washington apposes “Iran’s threats against Israel and our [Persian] Gulf partners” as well as its support for Syria and Yemen.
However, he claimed that “the challenges we face with Iran would be much worse if Iran were also on the threshold of building a nuclear weapon.”
The US accuses Iran of pursuing military objectives in its civil nuclear program. Tehran categorically rejects the accusation.
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly described the nuclear accord as the “worst deal ever negotiated” and at times vowed either to scrap the deal or to renegotiate it.
Trump repeated the charge in interviews with top European newspapers on Sunday.

US President-elect Donald Trump (file photo)

Meanwhile, the European Union has indicated that the bloc will remain committed to and work to ensure the proper execution of the JCPOA.
“It is proof that diplomacy works and delivers,” EU chief Federica Mogherini said Monday before an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.
The agreement “has delivered both on the nuclear-related commitments Iran took and on the firm determination of the international community to fully implement this deal”, she said.
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