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Government questioned as Iran put pressure on nuclear deal

8 May 2019 (updated on 8 May 2019)

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Iran has suspended its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal. The country has been affected by the US withdrawal from the deal last year and subsequent sanctions.

Under the terms of the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), Iran reduced its nuclear enrichment ambitions, and sold the excess produced by its nuclear power stations abroad in return for a reduction of sanctions. Since the Trump administration withdrew the US from the deal in 2018, the US has re-imposed sanctions, and the Iranian economy and currency have suffered.

Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani says his country does not want to leave the deal, but that the actions of the US "made it impossible to continue" to implement the measures required by the deal. He called on the three European signatories, the UK, France and Germany, to act.

China and Russia, the remaining signatories, have blamed the US for the situation.

Making a statement to the Commons, Mark Field MP, the Minister of State said that the development was a cause for concern, urging the remaining JCPOA signatories to continue to work to deliver sanction relief to Iran, and asking third countries not to take actions that impede the ability of treaty members to do so. He said;

"It is important to remember that the UK remains very clear-eyed about Iran's destabilising activity in other parts of the Middle East [...] however we do see that this is best done through the JCPOA remaining in place."

Responding to the statement, John Baron reminded the House that the JCPAO averted conflict and was the result of ten years of diplomacy, and blamed the US for unilaterally endangering it. He urged the Government to do more, saying;

"If this deal fails [...] there is a real chance we could have nuclear proliferation across the region. If that was to happen, I doubt there would be any winners in that conflict."

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