"US admits that only after it "left the JCPOA, Iran has taken steps away" while until then" Iran was living up to its limits"," he tweeted on Thursday.
"That US behavior—the CAUSE—has not changed E3 also culpable-no business w/Iran for 3 yrs," he added noting, “US/E3 must remove the cause, NOT ask Iran to stop 36 remedies."
Zarif made the remarks drawing on recent remarks by US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who admitted that Iran remained compliant with the JCPOA before the deal was ditched by former US President Donald Trump, Press TV reported.
Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Price acknowledged that Iran was abiding by the JCPOA before the US withdrawal, and took steps away from the accord only after the ill-judged measure.
“The IAEA, while the Iran deal, while the JCPOA was in full effect, while Iran was abiding by it, they expressed confidence that Iran was living up to its limits,” he said, adding, “I suspect if you go and ask them (the IAEA), they will tell you that they were satisfied by Iran’s compliance with the deal. Iran was complying with the deal."
Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, referring to it as the “worst deal ever,” while Iran was in full compliance with the deal and remained so even a year after the US withdrawal. The former hawkish US president reimposed sanctions on Iran to force it to renegotiate a “better deal.”
Iran, in response, waited a year for the other parties to the deal – the three European countries in particular – to offset US sanctions and protect Tehran’s interests. But as the so-called E3 failed to take any meaningful measure against US bullying, Iran started to reduce its commitments under the deal, a move which came as part of its legal rights stipulated in Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
During his campaign for US presidential election, Joe Biden promised to change the US policy toward Iran and return his country to the JCPOA. But he drifted away from that promise after assuming office more than a month ago, and instead, has urged Iran to return to the accord as a precondition for the US return to the pact.
The E3 was quick to come to support Washington’s new stance and put the blame on Iran for its alleged delay in returning to full compliance with the deal. Iran is angry at them for trying to shift the blame for the current impasse.
In his Thursday tweet, Zarif also stressed that the US and the E3 must remove the cause instead of asking Iran to stop its remedial moves.
He also said the E3 is culpable for halting its business relations with Iran for three years.