Statement on the US withdrawal from the JCPOA

9 May 2018

The announcement by President Trump that the United States will reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran effectively ends American commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed less than three years ago. The move to abandon the nuclear deal is a costly mistake that can hold wide-ranging ramifications beyond its strictly nuclear parameters.

It undoes many years of constructive and patient diplomacy between Iran and the P5+1 which produced a landmark agreement in non-proliferation. It not only imposed upon Iran the most intrusive and comprehensive inspection regime, but the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, providing a measure of certainty regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

One overarching consequence of the US withdrawal is the undermining of confidence in existing (and future) arms control and disarmament agreements. The decision brings further uncertainty in an already complex and tense global environment. At this critical time of potential denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula, this dangerous signal risks eroding trust in multilateral processes and further damage the nuclear non-proliferation regime in particular.

We welcome President Rouhani’s proposal that they will consult with other partners to preserve the deal. In this vein, we also welcome the statements by the remaining signatories that they remain committed to implementation of the agreement for the sake of common security.

We urge all parties involved to avoid further actions that may increase tension, particularly to a precarious Middle East. The region is already beset with conflicts that will require diplomatic engagement from all states to change the dynamics causing insecurity. Now is a time for responsible leadership from those remaining in the JCPOA and we call on the international community to support them in this endeavor.

Sergio Duarte, President
Paolo Cotta Ramusino, Secretary-General