ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Foreign Minister Ali al-Hakim on Friday urged Iran to respect the nuclear accord, from which the US decided to withdraw last year, as Tehran warned it would “shift away” from certain commitments.
“We think the JCPOA is a good agreement,” said Hakim, quoted by AFP, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) inked by Iran in 2015 along with Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and the US.
According to the nuclear deal, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency is tasked with regularly carrying out inspections of declared facilities in Iran, such as uranium mines and centrifuge workshops, for up to 25 years.
The purpose of the agreement was to ensure Iran is not holding undeclared stocks of nuclear material and is not developing uranium past a certain level.
“We encourage the Iranian government to stick to the JCPOA and stick to the spirit of the agreement and continue with it,” he told reporters in Oslo during a press briefing at a conference on combating sexual violence during humanitarian crises.
Already strained relations between the US and Iran have worsened in recent weeks, months after a second round of US sanctions in Nov. 2018 came into effect, targeting the Iranian energy and financial sectors.
“The last thing we need is another conflict in the area. We've already had a lot of conflicts in the area,” Hakim lamented.
“I don't think anybody wants $200 per barrel of oil coming soon,” he added.
Iraq has said it is prepared to help de-escalate the situation by playing the role of mediator.
On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced that he intended to send delegations to the US and Iran “very soon” in an attempt to ease tensions between the two countries.
Editing by Nadia Riva