Iran on Tuesday urged the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden to undo “destructive” measures of outgoing President Donald Trump against the Islamic Republic without preconditions.
“We expect the United States to reverse all destructive trends as quickly as Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal without any preconditions,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday, referring to Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
After walking out of the JCPOA in 2018, Trump unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran by imposing “toughest ever” sanctions.
Rabiei said the next US administration knows well what it needs to do to win Iran’s trust and avoid what “harmful acts” that can undermine diplomacy.
He ruled out the possibility of “new talks” before the US returns to “the point it stopped meeting its commitments” under the nuclear deal.
Under the terms of the JCPOA, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program and other signatories – the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China – pledged to lift sanctions.
The spokesman reiterated that Iran will not renegotiate the nuclear deal because “in our view, the JCPOA talks have been basically over”.
“No new negotiations are to take place. The only issue left today is the return of all parties to their obligations under the agreement, and this is not a complicated matter,” Rabiei pointed out.
Biden has signaled he wants the United States to rejoin to the JCPOA and Iran to return to full compliance.
Since 2019, Iran has gradually walked back part of its nuclear commitments in response to the US sanctions and Europe's inability to provide it with the agreement's promised economic benefits.
Tehran has maintained that its measures can be restored if the other parties to the deal carry out their commitments.
Return to JCPOA ‘feasible’
Biden’s choice for national security adviser said Monday that the incoming administration wants to put Iran “back into the box” by rejoining the nuclear deal.
In return, the US would be prepared to honor the terms of the JCPOA, Jake Sullivan told the Wall Street Journal.
“We think that it is feasible and achievable,” Sullivan said.
Biden will attempt to undo the damage his camp believes was done when Trump pulled the US out of the deal. Reentering that agreement, which would mean lifting sanctions worth billions of dollars to Tehran, would lay the groundwork for a “follow-on negotiation” on broader issues, he said.
This isn’t the first time Sullivan has signaled Biden’s readiness to rejoin the deal.
“If Iran returns to compliance, for its obligations that it has been violating, and is prepared to advance good-faith negotiations on these follow-on agreements,” Biden is willing to do the same, Sullivan said on November 25 at the University of Minnesota.
Sullivan’s new comments follows a joint statement from France, Germany and United Kingdom, calling on Iran to avoid steps that could jeopardize the nuclear deal, including high-level uranium enrichment and the installation of new centrifuges at Natanz plant.
Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the US needs to rejoin the JCPOA, commending the multilateral agreement for perfectly exemplifying a successful diplomatic strategy.
The European official also called for Iran to resume its full compliance with the nuclear accord.
"We need to find a way for the US to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, and for Iran to come back into full compliance. The nuclear deal is still assessed as a landmark of successful diplomacy ... We are proud of it as the biggest success of our diplomatic capacity," Borrell told a GLOBSEC webinar on Tuesday, according to Press TV.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also called on the US to return to the JCPOA as soon as possible and without preconditions.
Speaking in her weekly press briefing in Beijing on Monday, Hua Chunying urged US to fulfill its obligations under the international agreement, including lifting of sanctions imposed against Iran.
In response to a question about remarks of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who had said that an agreement beyond JCPOA is needed, she added, "Currently, Iranian nuclear issue has placed in an important condition and has a very complex and sensitive situation.
“We call on all members involved in JCPOA to work for safeguarding this landmark nuclear deal due to the circumstances and situation overshadowing the region and maintaining restraint and act based on common knowledge gained to protect JCPOA.”
Despite changes and developments in the region, China believes that effective preservation and observance of JCPOA is a basic precondition for any political and diplomatic solution on the Iranian nuclear issue, she said.
Noting that JCPOA will not resolve all security issues in the region, Hua said, “China also wants to establish more multilateral dialogue channels in West Asian and Persian Gulf region through equal negotiations and consultation to maintain peace and stability in line with reaching a new agreement.”