"The return of the United States to the nuclear deal is the first step that they should take. For this return, [the US] must compensate for the damage it caused to the Iranian nation, as well as for measures taken by the US to undermine the nuclear deal and promise to not do it again," Zarif said in an interview with Russian Sputnik News.
Zarif who arrived in Moscow late on Wednesday on an official visit, added that every country has a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but the West has double standards about different states' nuclear programs.
"We believe that all of the countries have the right for the peaceful use of the nuclear energy, including [uranium] enrichment, and this right must be exercised in a transparent manner in line with regulations issued by the IAEA. The Western countries have double standards in this regard. If a similar control, which is carried out toward Iran, is introduced on other countries that want to have an advanced nuclear program, the international community will be in peace," Zarif said.
Relations between the US and Iran have soured considerably due to President Donald Trump’s campaign of so-called maximum pressure, stipulating tough sanctions against the Islamic Republic, launched after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, officially referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The deal was signed in 2015 between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. According to the agreement, Tehran had to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal was adopted. The arms embargo will be lifted in October but Washington in a futile attempt tried to kill the nuclear deal and snap back the UN sanctions on Iran.
The move was opposed by both US allies and opponents at the international arena arguing that since Washington withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 it has legally no right to act as a “participant” of the nuclear deal.
More in his interview with Sputnik, Zarif stressed that Tehran and Moscow have so far held good talks regarding bilateral military cooperation and consultations in this field will continue.
He also elaborated on the possibility of signing a military contract between the two capitals after lifting Iran’s arms embargo, saying the two countries have had good talks to this end.
Zarif arrived in Moscow for an official visit to discuss issues of mutual interest with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Speaking upon his arrival, he said that talks about JCPOA and major regional developments top his agenda.
IRNA, Sputnik and MNA contributed to this story.