Peter Stano, lead EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, said, “Our top priority is to get the US back to the Iran nuclear deal.”
The European official told an online press conference in Brussels that EU High Representative Josep Borrell spoke last week by phone with the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and one of the issues discussed was the Iran nuclear deal, according to KUNA.
Early in January, he had said the EU will redouble its efforts to save the Iran nuclear agreement from which the United States unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and reimposed illegal sanctions against Iran.
In response to the US pullout, Iran has several times reduced its commitments to the deal.
Stano said on January 5 that it was in everyone’s interest to rescue the deal and said the 27-nation bloc “will strengthen” its attempts to make sure all adhere to the commitments made in the landmark deal.
Also on Monday, Iran’s foreign minister said the new US administration must first make up for the past wrongs done to the Iranian nation subsequent to Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Jamaran website, whose text was published on Monday, alluding to recent assertions by the new US secretary of state, who claimed that Iran should first restore full commitment to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), before the US could rejoin it.
Back in May 2018, former US president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA and adopted a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran with the declared aim of forcing Tehran to negotiate a new deal, Press TV wrote.
New US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Wednesday that Iran was “out of compliance on a number of fronts” and that “it would take some time, should it make the decision to do so, for it to come back into compliance and time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations”.
Tehran, in the meantime, insists that a US return to the deal would be meaningless unless the unilaterally-imposed US sanctions were lifted in the first place.
In reaction to such remarks, Zarif said, “They are not only trying to get over the previous administration’s [malicious] track record [with regard to Iran] without paying any price, but to do this at our cost, and they themselves know that this is not possible.”
He added that the former US administration made a mistake and caused great injustice to the Iranian people, saying Biden’s team should take responsibility and make up for previous wrongdoings.
“The conditions set by the Americans to return to the JCPOA are meaningless. If someone is supposed to set conditions for rejoining the JCPOA, it is us [not the US],” the foreign minister said.
He emphasized that it was the US that withdrew from the nuclear deal and therefore it should agree to Iran’s conditions.