European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) meets with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Brussels, Belgium, May 16, 2018. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
BRUSSELS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday threw his weight behind the European Union (EU) in salvaging the landmark Iran nuclear deal.
"We fully support the efforts the European Union is making in order to rescue the JCPOA," said Guterres at a joint press conference with European Commision President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
The visiting UN chief made the remarks following separate meetings with Juncker and the college of the European Commission.
Noting "for the first time in many decades the non-proliferation regimes...are put into question," Guterres lamented that "we have the cold war back".
To make matters worse, "there are not today the mechanisms that existed in the past cold war of dialogue, of contact, of control, to make sure that things would not spiral out of control by any kind of incident," Guterres said.
"It is absolutely essential to preserve two things: multilateral governance institutions and the rule of law in international relations," he proclaimed.
Guterres lavished praise on the EU for its role in upholding multilateral regime, vowing that the UN would lend support to the EU to create conditions for a world "in which peace, security, sustainable development and climate action are in the front line of its activities and our common cooperation."
Juncker, for his part, reiterated the EU's resolve to keep the Iran deal alive "because of primary importance for maintaining peace in the region, and also for peace in the whole world."
U.S. President Donald Trump declared on May 8 in a televised speech that the United States would withdraw from the deal, a landmark agreement signed in July 2015 by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus the European Union (EU) and Germany.
Trump claimed that the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), had failed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or supporting terrorism in the region.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear programs in return for the lifting of most international sanctions.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Iran has so far complied with all of the conditions established under the deal.