EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the expectation in the United States’ new administration that Iran must first return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal is neither logical nor will it ever materialize.
“The logic is that the party that has exited returns and we, who stayed within the agreement, take the required measures at that time,” he said during a joint press conference after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Friday, ISNA reported.
The US pulled out of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in 2018, under former president, Donald Trump, who also initiated a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.
In response to the tough sanctions, Iran scaled back its commitments in several moves that it said would be reversed once its JCPOA benefits were restored.
New US President Joe Biden, however, has vowed to rejoin the agreement, but on condition that Iran first resume strict compliance.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday reiterated Biden’s policy “that if Iran comes back into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA, the United States would do the same thing”.
Zarif emphasized during his speech that the US abandoned the JCPOA and violated its commitments, so it is now its duty to reverse those actions.
“As soon as the US implements its commitments and we see the benefits of their implementation, we will also fulfill our obligations completely,” he said, pointing out that the policy has been declared at the highest level by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Zarif also addressed Blinken in a tweet, reminding him of the course of action each of the countries took following the agreement.
“Reality check for @SecBlinken: The US -violated JCPOA -blocked food/medicine to Iranians -punished adherence to UNSCR 2231,” he wrote, referring to the United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed the nuclear agreement.
“Throughout that sordid mess, Iran -abided by JCPOA -only took foreseen remedial measures. Now, who should take 1st step?” he added.
Iran’s steps away from JCPOA obligations were also taken in accordance with the provisions of the agreement that allowed one party to stop its adherence partly or in full, in case of another participant violates its own terms.
“Never forget Trump's maximum failure,” Zarif also said.
Trump tried to ruin the agreement and force Iran into renegotiation over a more comprehensive deal, but failed.