0458 GMT June 26, 2022
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Monday blamed the United States for the delay in reaching an agreement on the revival of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), slamming Washington’s double standards, Press TV wrote.
His remarks came as the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently passed a resolution, proposed by the United States and the three European parties to the JCPOA, namely Britain, France, and Germany, which accuse Tehran of failing to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear agency.
Commenting on Iran’s efforts to achieve progress in the revival talks, Khatibzadeh noted that Iran has submitted its initiatives to Washington via European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
“Ahead of the meeting of the Board of Governors, Iran’s initiative was conveyed to the other side via Borrell, and for the first time, through two foreign ministers, Iran’s initiative and proposal was conveyed and a roadmap was submitted, but the United States once again decided to delay this agreement,” he said at a weekly press conference.
“If the United States fulfills its commitments under the JCPOA and lifts the sanctions imposed on the Iranian nation, we can finalize an agreement based on Iran’s initiative.”
Khatibzadeh also stressed Tehran’s adherence to diplomacy.
“The American side must return to the path of signing an agreement as soon as possible,” he said, expressing Tehran’s readiness for “a good, sustainable and effective agreement”.
Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna since April last year to restore the JCPOA, which was ditched by former U.S. president Donald Trump in May 2018.
In quitting the agreement, Trump introduced what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees. Tehran maintains that the policy has failed dismally. The administration of Joe Biden agrees, yet it has not taken any tangible steps to deliver on its promise of repealing the policy.
In recent months, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason behind the protraction of the talks, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the American side that it will not leave the deal again.
Oil cargo release
Turning to the Greek government’s seizure of a Russian-operated ship and confiscation of its Iranian oil cargo, Khatibzadeh expressed hope that the consignment would be released “in practice”.
According to a statement issued by Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) on June 14, the Greek government ordered the release of the ship and its cargo despite sustained U.S. efforts to do otherwise.
Late last month, Reuters quoted an unnamed Greek source as saying that the U.S. Department of Justice had confiscated 700,000 barrels of the Iranian oil cargo.
The source said that the oil cargo had been transferred to another ship hired by Washington and will be sent to the United States.
At the time, the PMO described the U.S. seizure of the Iranian oil cargo as an “act of piracy” that was “in violation of international standards”.
Referring to the two Greek oil tankers that have recently been seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in the Persian Gulf over maritime violations, the spokesman said the vessels are undergoing judicial procedures and the Greek government has tried to provide documents to ensure their release.
Tehran and Athens had friendly relations before the imposition of U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran and countries working with it. The exports of Iran’s oil to Greece was halted as a result of the bans.