In Brief: Labour calls for new approach to Iran and tougher nuclear deal

July 2015 Iran nuclear deal: agreement in Vienna. From left to right: Foreign ministers/secretaries of state Wang Yi (China), Laurent Fabius (France), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Federica Mogherini (EU), Mohammad Javad Zarif (Iran), Philip Hammond (UK), John Kerry (USA). (Photo: Dragan Tatic, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

A new tougher nuclear deal with Iran is needed, the shadow Middle East minister Wayne David has argued. In a piece for The House Magazine, David calls for the incoming Biden administration to rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and offer Iran relief from the crippling sanctions imposed by Donald Trump, arguing that the US has approach has had “the opposite of the intended effect”. But the frontbencher also accuses Tehran of “deliberately” breaching the agreement and says restoring the Islamic republic’s compliance with the nuclear deal is not enough to “address all the concerns raised by Iran’s activities”. “The JCPOA says nothing about Iran’s ballistic missile programme, which is designed to deliver nuclear weapons, nor its support for terrorist groups and militias throughout the Middle East,” David argues. “These issues need to be addressed and although the British government believes that a long-term perspective is needed, there is an imperative to move those issues firmly up the international agenda.”

A new agreement – coupled with a “strengthened” inspection ability for the International Atomic Energy Agency – must include “much more than restricting and monitoring the country’s nuclear capability, important as that is”, David writes. He also urges Britain and the EU to “intensify their dialogue with Israel and the Gulf States” with the goal of easing regional tensions. The shadow minister argues that Britain must also take a tougher stance on Iran’s gross abuses of human rights. “Britain needs to go beyond its current approach of discrete pressure and actively consider extending Magnitsky-style sanctions against key perpetrators,” he suggests, while also accusing Tehran of “state hostage taking”.
Read full article