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Preserving JCPOA key to global security: UN chief

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underlined the need for keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in place despite the US’s withdrawal, saying the multinational accord is key to ensuring global security.

According to Press TV, in a meeting with Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), in Oslo on Tuesday, Guterres voiced his full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying he is in talks with the remaining parties on the future of the deal.

The two officials were in the Norwegian capital to attend the 16th edition of the Oslo Forum, which brings together every year international conflict mediators, high-level decision-makers and other peace process actors in informal retreats for discussions on global challenges and experience sharing.

Guterres further stressed that the Iran nuclear deal plays a significant role in protecting international peace and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s pullout from the JCPOA and vowed to impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic, drawing strong criticisms from the remaining parties and the entire world community.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also threatened Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history” if it did not comply with a list of steep demands, including ending uranium enrichment.

Iran has said it will remain committed to the deal for the time being, pending negotiations with other signatories to the JCPOA to see if Tehran’s interests would still be protected under an accord without the US.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the UN chief noted that Tehran’s political and economic expectations from the European Union are understandable, saying he would call on the remaining JCPOA parties to seriously respond to Iran’s demands.

Salehi, for his part, said the benefits reaped from the JCPOA in the fields of economy, banking and investment do not already conform to Iran’s expectations, calling on the advocates of the landmark agreement, including the UN and European states, to stand up to Trump’s hostile stance and transparently support the international document.

He added that the recent US policies towards Iran and the JCPOA are destructive and doomed to failure, expressing doubts about the possibility of maintaining the nuclear pact under current conditions given that the proposals put on the table by the Europeans are not sufficient to keep the agreement alive.

“If it continues like this, all sides will lose,” he added.

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