US seeks hypertextual interpretation of JCPOA: expert

Tehran, April 28, IRNA – International Crisis Group's Iran Project Director Ali Vaez said on Tuesday that the attempt by Trump Administration to extend UN arms embargo on Iran was based on a hypertextual interpretation of the JCPOA and that they wanted to use a right they'd renounced by exiting the deal.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA's correspondent in New York, Vaez said that IRGC boats reacted to an unprecedented US maritime drill in the Persian Gulf which was provocative because such a joint drill between US air and naval forces was done for the first time after 1988 Iran-US military conflict and was exactly aimed at confronting IRGC missile boats.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been seeking for extending arms embargo against Iran which is attached to the 2231 Uأ Security Council resolution. Furthermore, the New York Times published an article yesterday about a plan to bring the United States back to the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, although it withdrew from the deal in May 2018.

Vaez said that US allies in the region have been pressuring the Trump administration for a long time, stating that Iran has already a military supremacy in the region and if the arms embargo is removed, Tehran will have access to advanced conventional arms which in turn will change the balance even more to Iran's benefit.

"The only way to reach that goal was to completely kill the JCPOA," the expert went on to say, "but, since the US is no more considered a party to the deal, the Trump administration is seeking to give a hypertextual interpretation of the deal so that they can use the right it has renounced to resume UN sanctions [against Iran]."

He also said: "The United States has been recognized as a party to the JCPOA in the first chapter of the deal and at the same time, there is no provision on exiting the deal in it. Therefore, the US claims that it is still a party to the deal. But, if we take a look at Trump's own legal wording when announcing the US withdrawal from the deal, it is clearly seen that he used the phrase 'ending US participation to the deal'."

The US gave up this right, but it is a permanent member of the Security Council and can manage to impose its will on the council since the issue is a political one, rather than a legal one, according to Vaez.

However, Russia and China have said that they wouldn't recognize such sanctions as legitimate and Iran has threatened to exit both the JCPOA and the NPT in that case, which has serious consequences, the Crisis Group expert added.

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