Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, currently in New York for meetings at the United Nations, said Iran saw the nuclear deal in part as a test of whether the United States would make good on its commitments. Iran has options, he said, if the United States or any other party breaks the deal.
“As we’ve said in the past, we wanted that agreement to be the foundation and not the ceiling,” Zarif told the National Interest July 17. “If it comes to a major violation, or what in the terms of the nuclear deal is called significant nonperformance, then Iran has other options available, including withdrawing from the deal.”
Of course, it is also possible that is exactly what anti-deal hawks in Washington hope — that US pressure and ramped-up sanctions will get Iran to abandon the deal first.
The official referee on JCPOA compliance — the eight-member Joint Commission overseeing implementation of the deal — is due to meet in Vienna this Friday. The meeting will be chaired by the European Union’s Helga Schmid and “offer an opportunity to review the implementation of the JCPOA as far as nuclear and sanctions related issues are concerned,” an EU press release read.
The United States is expected to be represented at the quarterly meeting by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran Chris Backemeyer.