The Iranian foreign minister said the US participation in JCPOA is only useful if it has economic benefits for Iran, adding that the US and UK must know that Iran will not renegotiate on terms of the nuclear deal.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks on Tuesday, noting that after the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Washington reimposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
He added that the US return to the JCPOA is not sufficient under these circumstances and the move must bring economic benefit for Iran, Mehr News Agency reported.
“Lifting sanctions is the priority for the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and Iranian officials. After that, the issue of US return to the nuclear deal will be considered,” he noted.
He added the US and Europe must take practical steps to normalize Iran's economic relations with the world; that is, resolving all the issues caused by the US that have limited economic ties with Iran.
Zarif said the US and Europe did not fulfill their commitments regarding the JCPOA, therefore, the Islamic Republic reduced its obligations under the deal by initiating uranium enrichment up to 20 percent.
The top diplomat further maintained that the JCPOA signatories are not allowed to add new conditions for lifting sanctions, underlining that Iran’s missile program is not related to the nuclear deal.
“Europeans and Americans need to know that we will not renegotiate what we once agreed on. This is not the rule of negotiation,” Zarif underlined.
He highlighted that the whole world believes that the policy of maximum against Iran has failed, adding if the US seeks to return to the JCPOA and fulfill its commitment, the Islamic Republic will comply with its obligations as well.
Earlier in the day, the Iranian government spokesman dismissed the possibility of any renegotiation of the 2015 landmark nuclear pact signed between Tehran and six major world states, stressing that the other sides only needs to fulfill its commitments and there is no need for further talks.
“Renegotiation of the JCPOA is out of the question, as Iran, China and Russia have [already] expressed their opposition,” Ali Rabiei said at his weekly presser on Tuesday, using the abbreviation for the official title of the Iran deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Press TV reported.
He reminded the European signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – France, Germany and the UK (E3) – that a return to their commitments under the nuclear agreement did not require any dialogue.
The parties, he said, could simply honor the JCPOA without any need for new negotiations in case the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden repealed the policies of its predecessor.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov called on Iran and the E3 to put aside their existing differences, and try to resolve the lingering issues.
“For a long time E-3, on the one hand, and Iran, on the other, refer to Dispute Resolution Mechanism. It is counterproductive. All of us are in one boat. We should focus on how to settle the existing problems and should not create new ones. This applies to all JCPOA participants,” he wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Tuesday.
Furthermore, Josep Borrell, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, voiced support for intensive diplomacy and efforts to facilitate US return to the JCPOA.
“The EU reiterates its strong commitment to and continued support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The JCPOA is a key element of the global nuclear nonproliferation architecture and achievement of multilateral diplomacy, endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council through Resolution 2231,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement added, “We acknowledge the issues arising from the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the agreement and the reimposition of its sanctions.”
Borrell claimed that the EU “has upheld its JCPOA commitments, including regarding sanctions lifting as foreseen in the agreement.”
“Despite the severe challenges to the JCPOA, the EU has continued to work hard to preserve it. We take note of the ministerial statement of JCPOA participants of 21 December 2020. We express support for the ongoing diplomatic efforts in the framework of the Joint Commission, with the EU high representative as its coordinator, to ensure full JCPOA implementation,” the EU foreign policy chief noted.
He also welcomed efforts aimed at “facilitating a US return to the JCPOA and Iran's return to full JCPOA implementation.”
“We welcome President-elect Biden's positive statements on the JCPOA, and look forward to working with the incoming US administration,” Borrell highlighted.
The developments come as a senior Israeli official, requesting anonymity, said the Tel Aviv regime intends to derail Biden's plan to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, according to Bloomberg.
The official highlighted that Israel will start by sending a stream of envoys to Washington, and will take other measures later on. The strategy runs against the Biden team’s willingness to reenter the JCPOA.
President Donald Trump, a hawkish critic of the groundbreaking 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany, unilaterally withdrew Washington from the agreement in May 2018.
Washington reinstated the sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted, and also pressured others into committing to the bans and stopping their trade with Tehran.
The US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign and targeted the Iranian nation with draconian restrictive measures, but Iran's economy keeps humming and is getting back on its feet.
During his election campaign, Biden had said that he would rejoin the deal if Iran returned to strict compliance with it.