Iran said Tuesday that Israel is the party that is the most worried about a possible revival of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, as the Tel Aviv regime massively benefits from instability in the Middle East region.
Ali Rabiei, the government’s spokesman, made the remarks at a media briefing in Tehran, days after Tel Aviv said it was updating plans for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear sites.
He said “the Zionist regime is the party the most worried about the JCPOA and in the past, it did all it could to torpedo this agreement” prior to its signing, using an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the nuclear accord, Press TV wrote.
“Insecurity in the region is of great benefit to the Zionist regime, and on this basis, it may adopt deceptive measures to prevent the establishment of peace. Their (the Zionsts’) concern is the revival of the JCPOA,” the official added.
Last week, Israeli top commander Benny Gantz was asked in an interview with Fox News about Iran’s nuclear program and whether Israel was working on plans to attack Iranian targets.
“We have them (plans) in our hands of course but we will continue constantly improving them,” he told Fox News. “The Iranian nuclear escalation must be stalled. If the world stops them before, it's very much good. But if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves.”
Rabiei said Tehran does not take Tel Aviv’s “ridiculous threats seriously. The leaders of the Israeli regime are well aware of the catastrophic consequences of such a blunder”.
“Such rhetoric, which is aimed at threatening and extorting money from the United States, is meant to dissuade America from returning to the JCPOA. It is up to the US administration [to decide] whether it wants to submit to such medieval blackmail or defend the independence of its policies and real interests of the American people. However, our response will be what our defense minister clarified,” he noted.
In response to Gantz’s threat, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Sunday that Tehran would raze Tel Aviv and Haifa if Israel committed any mistake.
No conditions acceptable
Rabiei was asked about Washington’s position on the future of the agreement. The US has conditioned the removal of sanctions on Tehran’s retracement of its nuclear countermeasures.
“I wonder if the declared positions on the JCPOA are meant for domestic audience in the US. But if they [truly] constitute the foreign policy of the new US administration, we think that such policies are wrong and the outcome of misleading advice,” he said.
“The US is not in the position to set conditions for implementing its own international obligations. Unlike the United States, which is evading a return to the JCPOA, Iran is ready to honor all its commitments along with other JCPOA members as soon as possible.”
Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 deal offered sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. But the accord has been hanging by a thread since former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran under a “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following Joe Biden's US presidential election victory in November, Iran and the European parties to the deal – France, Germany and Britain – as well as other signatories Russia and China have been trying to salvage it.
Biden has signaled his readiness to revive the accord, 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.
Russia called on the United States and Iran Tuesday to take mutual steps toward compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, as signatories to the historic accord work to salvage it.
"To resolve this urgent task, we believe it is perfectly possible to work out synchronous steps -- simultaneous steps to be taken in stages by both the Iranians and the United States," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, AFP reported.
"If we deliberate on which side should be first to return to compliance, then this bargaining could go on forever," he told reporters during a visit to Abu Dhabi.
Also Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov called on the US to abandon its “meaningless” campaign of maximum pressure against Iran in order for the accord to get back on track.
“The US is sending signals of readiness for dialogue to restore the JCPOA. It is welcomed,” Ulyanov said in a Russian-language tweet on Monday.
“It’s time to put an end to the meaningless policy of maximum pressure on Iran and ensure the normal functioning of the nuclear deal, the most important component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he added.
Ulyanov’s comments came days after the US mission to Vienna-based international organizations said in a tweet that Washington, “is ready to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with” the Iran deal “in close coordination with our allies and partners”.