United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, is “an important diplomatic victory” Thursday and made the case to “preserve it.”
“I believe the JCPOA was an important diplomatic victory and I think it will be important to preserve it,” Guterres said in an interview with BBC Radio 4, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim News agency.
“If one day there is a better agreement to replace it it’s fine, but we should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative,” Guterres reportedly added. “I … believe there are areas in which it will be very important to have a meaningful dialogue because I see the region in a very dangerous position.”
During their meeting at the White House last week, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested a new Iran deal. The visit was largely seen as a last-ditch attempt to keep America in the JCPOA.
“I can say that we have had very frank discussions on that, just the two of us. We, therefore, wish from now on to work on a new deal with Iran,” Macron said.
After their meeting, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, warned Tehran may withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) if President Donald Trump scraps the Iran nuclear deal.
Iran has been party to the NPT since 1970.
“This is one of three options that we are considering,” Shamkhani said.
During the press conference with Macron, Trump warned Iran against restarting its nuclear program saying, “You’ll find out about that. It won’t be so easy for them to restart. They’re not going to be restarting anything. They restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they’ve ever had before.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. However, many have suspected Iran is cheating and covertly developing nuclear capabilities.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a slideshow presentation detailing Israel’s findings on Iran’s allegedly ongoing nuclear weapons program.
Netanyahu revealed that Israeli intelligence had “obtained a ton of material” from a “highly secret location” in Iran that housed archives of information for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. “From the outside, this was an innocent looking compound,” Netanyahu explained. “It looks like a dilapidated warehouse, but from the inside, it contained Iran’s secret atomic archives locked in massive files.”
Shortly after Netanyahu’s announcement, President Trump declared that he has been “100 percent right” on Iran’s alleged nuclear development.