• Sun / 21 February 2021 / 13:32
  • Category: Politics
  • News Code: 99120301717
  • Journalist : 71477

Talks will begin once illegal sanctions are removed: Iran FM Zarif

Talks will begin once illegal sanctions are removed: Iran FM Zarif

Tehran (ISNA) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells Press TV that the Islamic Republic will be open to negotiations on reviving the historic 2015 nuclear accord once all signatories begin fulfilling their obligations.

The senior diplomat made the remarks to Press TV’s Marzieh Hashemi on Sunday.

He also said US President Joe Biden has spurned predecessor Donald Trump’s Iran policy in words, but has so far pursued the same course of action in practice.

The Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, and unleashed what his team called a “maximum pressure campaign” with the stated objective of forcing Iran to negotiate “a better agreement.”

The Islamic Republic refused to bow down to pressure and threats and responded to Trump’s maximum pressure policy with “maximum resistance.”

President Biden has expressed a willingness to bring the US back to the nuclear accord. However, his administration is demanding to see changes from Tehran before Washington would consider lifting the sanctions, as demanded by Iran.

The Islamic Republic insists that as the party that has abandoned its international obligations, the US should take the first step by removing the unlawful bans in a manner that could be verifiable by Tehran.

‘Pressure never works with Iran, only respect’

“The US is addicted to sanctions, bullying, and pressure. But it doesn’t work for a country with millennia of history. We have had a global empire that lasted longer than the United States’ history,” Zarif told Press TV.

“Therefore, with Iran pressure does not work, and ‘maximum pressure,’ in their own words, has led to ‘maximum failure,’” he said.

The Americans, he said, have to “open their eyes, make a sober assessment of the past, not only with Trump, and realize that with this country only respect works.”

Zarif said that the United States has not gained any leverage against Iran through its unlawful sanctions, adding that on the contrary the restrictive measures have only helped Iran diversify its economy away from oil.

‘Iran not violating JCPOA, only implementing remedial measures’

The top diplomat reminded that Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA enables Iran to take “remedial action” against failure by other sides to implement their obligations.

The Islamic Republic, he added, was not violating the agreement, it was simply implementing the remedial steps that it is entitled to in line with the pact.

He referred to a parliamentary law that obliges the Iranian government to take the latest step in its retaliation, namely the planned suspension of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s short-notice visits of the country’s nuclear program. The law, he said, was not a “warning to the world,” but a “domestic” interaction between the government and the legislative body that holds the government responsible.

Following the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran waited for an entire year for the European signatories to hold up their end of their bargain and secure Iranian business interests, guaranteed by the deal, in the face of US sanctions. However, as the Europeans failed to deliver under US pressure, Tehran began to scale back its commitments in several phases in retaliation.

Zarif dismissed any assertion on the part of the US or its European allies in the JCPOA that “we signed a number of instructions” as per the international agreement.

“It’s not just signing, it’s the impact,” Zarif said, noting how the US allies failed to implement even a single one of their obligations following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has asserted that Iran would only return to its commitments in the nuclear deal once the illegal sanctions are removed.

JCPOA scope never to expand

Those alleging that the JCPOA has to encompass more subject matters than it already has should be sure that it will “absolutely not,” Zarif said.

The US and some of its regional allies have demanded that Iran’s missile program and reginal influence be included in the nuclear talks. Tehran has roundly rejected any such prospect, saying it will not renegotiate “a done deal” and that its defensive activities and regional might are not open to any negotiation.

‘Concerns about Iran program nonsense’

Separately, Zarif noted that the Israeli regime possesses the Dimona nuclear facility, which he called the sole “nuclear bomb factory” in the Middle East, yet a recent report by The Guardian about secret expansion of the facility was not met by even an “expression of concern” on the part of the US or its European allies.

Therefore, while the Israeli regime is allowed to go ahead with such non-conventional activities, any talk about concerns about Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program is “nonsense,” he said.

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