EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated that in order for Iran to fully abide by the 2015 nuclear deal again, the United States must lift all sanctions unconditionally and effectively.
“We’ll follow ACTION w/ (with) action,” he said in a tweet on Friday.
His remark came in response to a proposal put forward by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Washington’s readiness to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The US exited the accord unilaterally under former president, Donald Trump, in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran, which reacted a year later by reducing its compliance in accordance with the provisions of the deal.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden has said it would rejoin the deal if Iran resumes strict compliance, while Tehran maintains that sanctions must be lifted first.
Blinken put forward the proposal during a videoconference on Thursday with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, a group known as E3, gathered in Paris.
“If Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end,” a joint statement from the four nations said.
A US official also told Reuters that Washington would respond positively to any European Union invitation to talks between Iran and the six major powers who negotiated the original agreement, namely Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.
“We are ready to show up if such a meeting were to take place,” the official said, after a senior EU official floated the idea of convening such talks.
Iran has reacted coolly to the idea, with the foreign minister stressing that the path back to diplomacy is “Simple: #CommitActMeet”.
“Instead of sophistry & putting onus on Iran, E3/EU must abide by own commitments & demand an end to Trump's legacy of #EconomicTerrorism against Iran,” Zarif said.
“Our remedial measures are a response to US/E3 violations. Remove the cause if you fear the effect,” he added, highlighting Iran’s will to take reciprocal action once other parties return to their commitments.
In an interview with IRIB News, Zarif also pointed out that Iran gave Europe one year to compensate for the US “maximum pressure”, but they failed.
“The US did not return to its commitments either and despite announcing that the maximum pressure has failed, is still continuing this policy,” he said.
The foreign minister said E3 must know that pressure on Iran does not work and worthless statements come to no use.
“As soon as we see a move by the US or Europe toward implementing their commitments, we will react immediately and return to our commitments,” he said.
Revision in Trump Policies
The US made revisions in two Trump administration orders on Thursday, apparently in a bid to reduce tensions.
It told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that it was rescinding an assertion that all UN sanctions had been reimposed on Iran in September.
In August last year, former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said he had triggered a 30-day process at the UN Security Council that led to the return of all UN sanctions on Iran.
However, 13 of the 15 UNSC members had already said Washington’s move was void because Pompeo used a mechanism agreed under a deal that the Trump administration had abandoned.
The Trump administration had argued it had triggered the so-called “snapback” mechanism because a UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that enshrined JCPOA still named the US as a participant.
Zarif welcomed the US acknowledgement that the assertion was invalid, but stressed that the US must reverse its violations of the UN resolution if it expects Iran to resume full compliance.
“US acknowledgment that Pompeo's claims regarding the UNSCR 2231 had no legal validity. We agree,” he tweeted.
“In compliance w/(with UNSCR 2231): US unconditionally & effectively lift all sanctions imposed, reimposed or re-labeled by Trump. We will then immediately reverse all remedial measures.”
Washington also said it was easing draconian restrictions imposed by Trump administration on movements of Iranian diplomats accredited at the UN, headquartered in New York City.
"The idea here is to take steps to remove unnecessary obstacles to multilateral diplomacy by amending the restrictions on domestic travel. Those had been extremely restrictive," a UN State Department official said.
Trump had barred Iranian diplomats from all but a few blocks around the UN and their mission, with Zarif saying he was even prohibited during a UN visit from visiting a colleague in a New York hospital.
Nevertheless, Iranian diplomats would still be subject to restrictions applied to nations with poor relations with the US and would need authorization to go beyond a 40-kilometer radius from midtown Manhattan.