“We complied with our commitments until the US withdrew, and even one year after the US withdrawal. The US did not comply, so the party that needs to give us confidence is the United States,” said Zarif, speaking at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum hosted by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Anadolu Agency reported.
Zarif said in the current talks in Vienna for the US return to the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there is still a remaining stumbling block between the US and Iran which is recognition.
The problem is that the US has to come to the recognition that it was the United States that left the deal with an objective, and that objective was not achieved, now it is coming back to the deal, so it cannot dictate the objectives that it could not achieve to the negotiating table, said Zarif.
“I think that's a cognitive transformation that the US administration needs to make, and I think we are getting there but not there yet,” he added.
Zarif said US President Joe Biden has understood that his predecessor Donald Trump’s policy on Iran has failed.
“But still he wants to use that policy as leverage. And that's where the cognitive problem comes in. So, I think they have to abandon the fact that sanctions are an asset. Sanctions are liability, sanctions are illegal, sanctions are unlawful,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the Europeans have been forced into basically succumbing to US sanctions, but it doesn't mean that they approve it, it doesn't mean that they accepted. The US was isolated,” he added.
When asked whether he trusted Biden or not, Zarif said, “In diplomacy, nobody trusts anybody.”
Zarif also told the forum that issues in Iran’s nuclear talks with Western powers were not insurmountable and he hoped to achieve a result before August.
The JCPOA is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US – plus Germany together with the European Union.
The US under Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed and reinforced sanctions on Iran.
Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA has held talks in the Austrian capital Vienna since April in an effort to resuscitate the accord.