NEW YORK, New York - The United Nations believes the Iran nuclear deal should be salvaged, arguing that there is "no credible, peaceful alternative."
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo told the UN Security Council on Wednesday the pact must "continue to work for all", despite the political maneuverings of both Iran and the United States.
The U.S. has walked away from the "hard-one" 2015 agreement while other signatories to the agreement are trying to keep it in place.
Iran says it has been in compliance, and meeting its obligations, however the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions which are throttling its economy. U.S. President Donald Trump has boasted the Iranian economy is "shattered" as a result of the sanctions.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – reached by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US and the European Union – sets out rigorous mechanisms for monitoring restrictions placed on Iran's nuclear programme, while paving the way for the lifting of UN sanctions against Iran.
Ms. DiCarlo described it as the result of "12 years of intense diplomatic efforts and technical negotiations", regarded by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as a major success of "multilateralism, nuclear non-proliferation, dialogue and diplomacy."
With the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stating in its latest report that Iran is abiding by its commitments, she said the UN chief was concerned at the U.S. decision in May, not to extend waivers so that Iran can continuing trading oil, and other waivers directly relating to the JCPOA. The U.S. withdrew from the deal just over a year ago, but some oil buyers were allowed to keep taking limited volumes.
U.S. actions "may impede the ability of Iran and other countries to implement certain of its provisions", said the Political Affairs chief, adding that Mr. Guterres also regretted Iran's announcement this May, that it would not commit to the agreed limits on enriched uranium, unless other signatories agreed to work around the increased U.S. sanctions, within 60 days.
Iran raised the stakes higher by announcing last week it would pass it's agreed limits on enriched uranium by 27 June.
"Such actions are not in the interests of the participants of the plan and may not help preserve it', she said. "The Secretary-General encourages Iran to continue implementing all its nuclear-related commitments despite the considerable challenges it faces."
Ms DiCarlo said the UN chief welcomed initiatives from other countries – including all the Security Council Permanent Members to save the deal, "which should be given full effect as a matter or priority."
"It is essential that the plan continues to work for all its participants, including by delivering tangible economic benefits to the Iranian people", she added.
Turning to provisions in the JCPOA, Ms. DiCarlo said there were "divergent views" from countries over whether Iran had breached the agreement in various test firing and test flights, since December.
Iran's Ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi told the Council that "the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposition of sanctions" had rendered the deal "almost fully ineffective...Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore, to preserve the JCPOA", he declared.
With the European powers working hard to save the deal and the Iranian 60-day deadline to them of 8 July looming, the UN Ambassador for the European Union, Joao Vale de Almeida, warned that there was "no credible, peaceful alternative."
Jonathan Cohen, acting U.S. Ambassador, said the Iran's "defiance of the Security Council and its reckless behaviour threatening peace and security globally must not be downplayed in the name of preserving a deal that doesn't fully cut off Iran's path to a nuclear weapon."
(Photo credit: Michael Reynolds/EPA).