Parties to Iran nuclear deal pledge to preserve accord

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(Photo: Xinhua)

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Parties to an international agreement on Iran's nuclear program pledged on Wednesday to continue efforts to preserve the July 2015 deal.

In a joint statement after their meeting in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran "confirmed their determination to continue all efforts to preserve the agreement, which is in the interests of all."

"Participants recalled that the JCPOA ... remains a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and a significant achievement of multilateral diplomacy," says the statement read out to reporters by Federica Mogherini, EU's foreign and security policy chief, who chaired the meeting.

The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is the official name of the July 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The participants underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides, says the statement.

The United States was a party to the deal. But Washington withdrew from it in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran's reversal of its commitments.

Mogherini said it is becoming increasingly difficult to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. "We have discussed today the fact that we will try and continue keeping the agreement in place and overcome the difficulties we are facing."

She asked Iran to return to full compliance with the deal, under which Iran would limit its nuclear activity in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

"What I believe is that every step that has been taken so far by Iran -- and I underline "so far" -- is reversible, We've constantly called upon Iran to reverse these decisions and go back to full compliance, which has been the case till recently, because this is in the interests of all."

This is in the security interests of all parties and in the economic interests of Iran, she said. "I hope that rationality will prevail and that this meeting today will contribute to preserving the agreement."