CAPE TOWN, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The world is facing "the menacing re-emergence of rabid unilateralism that will rock the very foundations of international diplomacy," a South African minister warned on Tuesday.
"Unilateralism is a relapse of progress and is self-seeking with little regard for the common-good of humanity," Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu told reporters before she delivered her Budget Vote Speech in Parliament.
The minister said she would deliver her speech "at a time when the world faces a greatest threat in international relations."
She was referring to the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran.
"We were shocked by the announcement of the U.S. administration on 9 May to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1," Sisulu said.
The JCPOA, she said, is of great significance in that it upholds the integrity of the international non-proliferation regime, and eliminates the prospects of a nuclear attack across the Middle East.
The deal, signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, the United States, Britain, France and Russia), Germany and the European Union (EU) in 2015, froze the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for a gradual normalization of economic and political relations with the international community and the end of sanctions.
The action by the U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the nuclear deal "amounts to taking the world back by many decades onto the brink of conflict and tensions," Sisulu said.
Trump called the deal defective to its core despite the position of the other parties to the agreement and the UN arguing that Iran had been in full compliance.
This deal, which was supervised and sanctioned by the United Nations, should have adequate binding on all signatories, said Sisulu.
The era of uncertainty and unpredictability which bodes ill for the sanctity of multilateral agreements has reared its ugly head, she said.
"We wish to urge the U.S. to reconsider its position and seek to implement the Iranian Nuclear Deal," Sisulu said.
South Africa, she said, views Iran as a strategic partner within the Middle East and Central Asian regions.
"Within the bilateral sphere, South Africa and Iran share a long historical relationship. At the same time it gives us an opportunity to sensitize Iran when its actions negatively impact on it," the minister stressed.