Europe, Russia and China Respond to Israeli Claims

May 1, 2018

European leaders have reaffirmed their support for the Iran nuclear deal in the wake of Israeli allegations over Iran's attempts to design, produce and test nuclear weapons. "The Israeli Prime Minister’s presentation on Iran’s past research into nuclear weapons technology underlines the importance of keeping the Iran nuclear deal’s constraints on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions," British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said. "The pertinence of the deal is reinforced by the details presented by Israel," echoed the French Foreign Ministry in a statement. The following are remarks by European leaders in response to Israel's claims. 

 

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson


The Israeli Prime Minister’s presentation on Iran’s past research into nuclear weapons technology underlines the importance of keeping the Iran nuclear deal’s constraints on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

The Iran nuclear deal is not based on trust about Iran’s intentions; rather it is based on tough verification, including measures that allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear programme.

The fact that Iran conducted sensitive research in secret until 2003 shows why we need the intrusive inspections allowed by the Iran nuclear deal today. The verification provisions in the Iran nuclear deal would make it harder for Iran to restart any such research. That is another good reason for keeping the deal while building on it in order to take account of the legitimate concerns of the US and our other allies.

― April 30, 2018, in a statement

 

British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt

“We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions.”

"There is a great deal of confrontation, worries and heightened rhetoric [in the region] and I think one of the roles the United Kingdom can play is to seek to de-escalate this.”

"It is extremely tense and we should be doing all we can to back those things that are likely to deescalate tension - that is one of the reasons we support JCPOA."

"We support the JCPOA [and] we will stick to its provisions because we believe it contributes to peace in the region, notwithstanding all the other things that also need to be dealt with.”

May 1, 2018, speaking to BBC Radio 4, according to BBC News
 

“Iran has reduced its uranium stockpile by 95%, its centrifuges by two-thirds and as recently as February has been judged by the International Atomic Energy Authority to be in compliance with the JCPOA.”

May 1, 2018, speaking to BBC Radio 4, according to The Guardian

 

French Foreign Ministry 

“At first sight, they [the details] confirm that part of the Iranian nuclear program, as France and its partners stated during the first revelations in the summer of 2002, was not civilian.”

“The pertinence of the deal is reinforced by the details presented by Israel: all activity linked to the development of a nuclear weapon is permanently forbidden by the deal.”

“The inspection regime put in place by the [UN nuclear watchdog] IAEA thanks to the deal, is one of the most exhaustive and the most robust in the history of nuclear non-proliferation.”

May 1, 2018, in a statement, according to AFP
 

“This information should be studied and evaluated in detail.”

"It is essential that (the International Atomic Energy Agency) IAEA can continue to verify Iran's respect for JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

May 1, 2018, in a statement, according to Xinhuanet

 

German Government Spokesman

“It is clear that the international community had doubts that Iran was carrying out an exclusively peaceful nuclear program.”

“It was for this reason the nuclear accord was signed in 2015, including the implementation of an unprecedented, thorough and robust surveillance system by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

April 30, 2018, according to Reuters

 

E.U. High Representative Federica Mogherini

"First of all, it can only be a preliminary reaction, because, obviously, we need to assess the details of the statement Prime Minister [of Israel, Benjamin] Netanyahu has made, look at the documents, and first and foremost get the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]'s assessment, because the IAEA is the only impartial, international organisation that is in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear commitments.

What I have seen from the first reports is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has not put into question Iran's compliance with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments, meaning post-2015 nuclear commitments.

The JCPOA, the nuclear agreement, is not based on assumptions of good faith or trust - it is based on concrete commitments, verification mechanisms and a very strict monitoring of facts, done by the IAEA. The IAEA has published 10 reports, certifying that Iran has fully complied with its commitments.

And in any case, if any party and if any country has information of non-compliance, of any kind, it can and should address and channel this information to the proper, legitimate, recognised mechanisms, the IAEA and the Joint Commission [of the JCPOA] for the monitoring of the nuclear deal that I chair and that I convened just a couple of months ago. We have mechanisms in place to address eventual concerns.

Again, I have not seen from Prime Minister Netanyahu arguments for the moment on non-compliance, meaning violation by Iran of its nuclear commitments under the [nuclear] deal. And again, the deal was put in place exactly because there was no trust between the parties, otherwise we would not have required a nuclear deal to be put in place."

―April 30, 2018, in a statement

 

Office of Russian President Vladimir Putin

The leaders discussed progress of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme, including in the light of Mr Netanyahu’s statement on the issue made today.

Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia’s stance that the Plan of Action, which is of primary importance for ensuring international stability and security, must be meticulously observed by all parties.

― April 30, 2018, summary of a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister Netanyahu after his briefing on Iran’s nuclear program

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

"If the U.S., as its president has repeatedly stated, announces its withdrawal from this agreement ... we all, the international community, will lose one of the most important tools that contributes to ensuring the non-proliferation regime for weapons of mass destruction.”

― May 3, 2018, in a statement, according to Xinhua

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying

"We have noted relevant reports as well as responses made by the relevant parties. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was agreed by Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1) which was endorsed by the UN Security Council to ensure the peace nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only international organization that has the authority to monitor and verify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA and reach a conclusion on the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. We have noted that the IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance with the JCPOA obligations for ten times. The JCPOA put in place the strictest monitoring and verification measures on the Iranian nuclear programme. What is imperative is for all relevant parties to bear in mind the general and long-term picture and continue to earnestly implement and safeguard the JCPOA."

― May 2, 2018, in remarks at the daily press conference

 

Click here for information about Prime Minister Netanyahu's revelations about Iran's nuclear program. 

Click here for Iranian reactions to Netanyahu's charges. 

Click here for the U.S. response to Israeli allegations. 

Click here for the IAEA's statement and report about Iran's nuclear activities.

Click here for responses from experts and former officials.