EghtesadOnline: Asenior diplomat said Iran has had no contact with the administration of new US President Joe Biden, stressing that any possible talks could only be held within the “right format” of the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and major powers.
“Currently, we are not interested in making any direct contact and we think that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the right format, and [any possible] talks should be conducted in that framework,” Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in an interview with the Italian daily newspaper la Repubblica published on Saturday.
He said Iran has “realistic” demands from Biden’s administration, which are the lifting of sanctions by Washington and its return to the nuclear deal.
“I don’t see other alternatives. We have negotiated in good faith and implemented the JCPOA in good faith. It is now up to the new [US] administration to correct the mistakes of their predecessors. The US is the party that has abandoned the agreement; it is up to them to decide what to do,” Araqchi said.
“To reenter the agreement, they must remove all the sanctions they have imposed on Iran. We are ready to fulfill all our commitments as per the JCPOA, provided that the Americans live up to their obligations and lift sanctions.”
No JCPOA Plus
In response to a question about efforts by European signatories to the nuclear deal, namely Britain, France and Germany, to include non-nuclear issues in JCPOA, the Iranian diplomat said, “There will be no JCPOA plus, there will not be another agreement; there will not be new negotiations on the JCPOA.”
He also rejected calls for inclusion of Iran’s missile power in any talks.
Araqchi said Tehran has no “particular stance” on the transfer of power in the US, as it is just waiting to see how the new president intends to correct the former president, Donald Trump’s wrong positions.
Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018.
After abandoning the deal, Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran lifted by the accord and launched a push to fully destroy the agreement by trying to dissuade the remaining signatories from staying in the agreement and threatening sanctions against any party that refuses to cut business ties with Tehran in defiance of American sanctions.
Washington’s pressure successfully blocked the European co-signatories from fulfilling their obligations, which prompted Tehran to retaliate and suspend parts of its own commitments under articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
In an op-ed article published on Friday by American magazine Foreign Affairs, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the new US president to end his predecessor’s fruitless pressure policy against Iran and begin the process of rejoining the JCPOA by lifting all unilateral sanctions unconditionally, warning that the “window of opportunity will not be open” for the new White House team forever.
Zarif said Trump failed to make Iran bow to his demands through his “maximum pressure” campaign that followed Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord.
Araqchi also said possible talks about other issues depend on how JCPOA will be implemented.
Regarding Persian Gulf security, he said this issue can be the subject of dialogue among regional countries without foreign interference, stressing that “the security of the region can be discussed collectively”.