Russia, China to Assist Iran with Trump’s JCPOA Betrayal: US Scholar

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American philosopher of science described Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers as a “colossal blunder on the part of President Trump”, noting that Russia and China will undoubtedly assist Iran in dealing with Trump’s betrayal.

“Withdrawing from the Iran deal was a colossal blunder on the part of President Trump, which has united the world against the US--with the exception of Israel, at whose request this action appears to have been taken,” James Henry Fetzer told the Tasnim News Agency.

He added, “No doubt, China, Russia and the other members of the new "P5" are going to assist Iran in dealing with this betrayal.”

Following is the full text of the interview.

Tasnim: As you know, US President Donald Trump on May 8 withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which is an international agreement and endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. What is your take on President Trump’s decision?

Fetzer: Withdrawing from the Iran deal was a colossal blunder on the part of President Trump, which has united the world against the US--with the exception of Israel, at whose request this action appears to have been taken. Even the US intel agencies had concluded in 2007 that Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons, a conclusion that they reaffirmed in 2011. Even the Mossad agreed that Iran was not pursuing nukes by 2012. Trump claimed to have three primary objections: that it expires in 2025; that inspectors are not covering military sites; and that it does not extend to Iran's ballistic missile program. But the second and third were inappropriate, outrageous demands for a sovereign power, which none would agree to; and the first is trivial since the agreement could be extended at the appropriate time. Only Israel would impose such requirements in anticipation of taking military action against Iran.

Tasnim: UK, France, Germany, Russia and China have expressed their support for the deal, saying that they would stand by it despite the US pullout. Do you think the agreement will stand without the US? Will Europeans, Russia and China continue to honor their commitments under the deal?

Fetzer: We now have a new arrangement of the P5+1, which originally included the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UK, France, US, China and Russia) plus Germany. Now we have an alignment of the other five opposing the US as the odd man out. Although Israel and a few of the (Persian) Gulf Arab nations have hailed the withdrawal as a positive development, it has placed the credibility of the United States in a very bad light. Having violated the most solemn agreements between major powers in transgressing the agreements between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov in negotiating the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which entailed complete respect for the neutrality of the Eastern Bloc nations that would become independent, which Bill Clinton and George W. Bush encroached upon incrementally, the US no longer can be regarded as a trustworthy treaty participant, which will have major repercussions for the future, almost certainly in relation to present negotiations with North Korea.

Tasnim: As you know, Europeans are trying hard to salvage the deal. What would happen if all their efforts fail? How do you think should Iran react to this after pouring concrete into the core of its nuclear reactor?

Fetzer: Iran has been the recipient of immense sympathy worldwide as a consequence of this abusive conduct by the once widely respected United States. The EU has been deliberating how to continue its support for Iran and the nuclear deal, including continuing economic deals in spite of sanctions the US intends to reimpose. But Iran must not make demands upon the EU or other countries to come to its aid. That makes their own voluntary support appear to be coerced. Let other countries come to the assistance of Iran. Iran should await the response of the world--including Russia, China and the EU--which I would expect to be overwhelmingly favorable to Iran, but which could be placed in serious jeopardy by the perception of acceding to demands being imposed by Iran. Iran needs to be patient while the affected states sort out their response to the unreasonable act of the United States.

Tasnim: Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Khamenei recently said, “The Europeans must submit a resolution against the US at the UN Security Council to protest" Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA.” What do you think?

Fetzer: … the injustice is apparent to everyone familiar with the history of this issue. These are all desirable goals from the point of view of Iran, but they are widely recognized by the other nations involved. While these are desirable objectives for Iran to pursue, advancing them as "demands" does not advance the interests of Iran, which should instead engage in a series of bilateral negotiations with members of the EU and, when appropriate, with the EU as an entity itself. No doubt, China, Russia and the other members of the new "P5" are going to assist Iran in dealing with this betrayal.

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