US general signals support for Iran nuclear deal: Reuters
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Tehran, March 14, IRNA -- The agreement, which US President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran's nuclear program, said a top US general, referring to the 2015 Iran Deal.
"The JCPOA addresses one of the principle threats that we deal with from Iran, so if the JCPOA goes away, then we will have to have another way to deal with their nuclear weapons program," said on Tuesday US Army General Joseph Votel, the head of the US military's Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iran, according to Reuters.
Iran has always said that it has never been and will never be after producing atomic weaponry and nuclear weapons are not a part of Iran's policy; even Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against production and using atomic bombs.
The Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an international agreement signed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Iran in July 2015 in Vienna.
Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from the accord unless the Congress and US's European allies help "fix" it with a follow-up pact.
Trump does not like the deal's limited duration, among other things, wrote Reuters.
Votel also said that, regarding the JCPOA, he shares the same idea with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.
Late last year, Mattis said the US should stay in the deal unless it was proven that Tehran was not complying or that the agreement was not in the US national interest.
Dunford had already said that Tehran has been compliant with the JCPOA; therefore, US' decision to withdraw will lessen countries' inclination to make deals with the US.
Also, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has named the possible collapse of the Iran nuclear deal a "great loss'.
Iran has stayed within the deal's restrictions since Trump took office in January 2017 but 'has fired diplomatic warning shots' at the US in recent weeks.
Iran said on Monday that if the deal collapsed, it could rapidly go back to the situation prior to the deal.
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