President Hassan Rouhani Sunday urged Europe to avoid "threats or pressure" in any negotiations with Tehran, as he received Ireland's foreign minister amid diplomatic efforts to revive a landmark nuclear deal.
Ireland is currently "facilitator" for the United Nations Security Council resolution that enshrined the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers, AFP wrote.
The deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been hanging by a thread since former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed “toughest ever” sanctions on Tehran.
Following Joe Biden's US presidential election victory in November, the US, the European parties to the deal – France, Germany and Britain – and Tehran have been trying to salvage the accord.
"The best way to solve problems with European partners at various bilateral, regional and international levels, is negotiations based on mutual respect and avoiding any threats or pressure," Rouhani told Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Sunday's meeting.
Rouhani criticized Europe's "inactivity on JCPOA commitments" and added that Iran is committed to "preserving the JCPOA and is the only party that has paid a price for it".
"But this situation cannot continue as it is," the president stressed.
"Preserving and reviving" the deal requires all sides to act on their commitments, he said.
The three European parties to the nuclear deal on Thursday scrapped a draft resolution at the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that criticized Iran's suspension of some nuclear inspections, a move welcomed by Tehran.
Biden has signaled his readiness to revive the deal, but insists Iran first return to all its nuclear commitments, most of which it suspended in response to the US sanctions.
Tehran meanwhile demands Washington take the first step by scrapping the sanctions.
Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Sunday he hopes the United States will remove “unjustified” sanctions on Iran, Reuters reported.
During his annual press conference, State Councillor Wang said Iran needs to take on responsibility in the process too.
Iran on February 23 started to restrict some IAEA inspections.
But a visit to Tehran by the UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi just before the restriction came into force led to an interim technical deal for up to three months.
The arrangement would allow the body to continue monitoring "all the key activities", Rossi said at the time.
Rouhani noted that "Iran still remains committed to cooperation with the IAEA".
He added that Iran is ready to reverse the restrictions after the lifting of America's sanctions.
“Iran is ready to immediately take compensatory measures based on the nuclear deal and fulfill its commitments just after the US illegal sanctions are lifted and it abandons its policy of threats and pressure,” the president said, according to AP.
Ireland is not party to the nuclear deal, but currently sits on the UN Security Council.
As facilitator for resolution 2231 – the UNSC resolution enshrining the nuclear deal – Dublin is tasked with keeping other council members briefed with implementation of the deal.
Coveney said Trump’s withdrawal was a “historic mistake” and noted that the new US administration is determined to return to the deal, Press TV wrote.
He said as an international agreement, the JCPOA is very important to global peace, noting that Dublin would do all in its power to preserve the deal. The diplomat said Dublin is prepared to play whatever role that could ameliorate the situation and enable fresh negotiation among the JCPOA’s partners.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also met Coveney later in the day.
Zarif told his Irish counterpart that the “effective” removal of US sanctions would pave the way for Iran to return to full compliance with the JCPOA.
said on Twitter on Friday that he will soon present Tehran's "constructive concrete plan of action-through proper diplomatic channels".