Time has come for the nuclear deal to bear ‘fruition’, the foreign minister says 

Zarif believes Trump will extend sanctions waivers 

May 2, 2017 - 20:26

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the next Iranian government should honor the international 2015 nuclear deal to improve Iranians’ living standards, predicting that U.S. President Donald Trump will extend sanctions waivers as enshrined in the nuclear accord. 

[ed]The nuclear deal, officially called the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was brokered between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany, and the European Union in July 2015. It went into effect in January 2016.

Under the the deal, sanctions against Iran were lifted in exchange for a limit on Tehran’s nuclear program.  

“Time has come for efforts made within the framework of the JCPOA to bear fruit,” the foreign minister said in an interview with ISNA published on Tuesday.

The comments by Zarif come as Iran will elect a new president on May 19. Incumbent Hassan Rouhani is seeking a reelection.

Zarif said that interaction with neighboring countries and economic progress should also be prioritized, emphasizing that policies pursued over the past four years should be continued.

The top diplomat also said expansion of economic interactions with the outside world has been one of the most important goals of the Foreign Ministry during the past four years.

On the presidential elections, Zarif said: “The people’s choice will have fundamental influence on the future of the country.” 
Zarif also said that he believes Trump will extend sanctions waivers given the process of implementing the nuclear deal.

Pointing to a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on April 18 in which he confirmed Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA obligations, Zarif noted that despite negative propaganda about the statement, he believes that the U.S. will extend sanctions waivers.

In Tillerson’s letter to Paul D. Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, it is confirmed that “Iran is compliant through April 18th with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”.

Defending the government’s record in concluding the nuclear deal, Zarif said without the accord Iran’s oil exports would have been reduced to less than 200,000 barrels per day by now under Congressional legislations which were backed by the UN Security Council resolutions.

“Now the question is this: which plan was implementable by this level of (oil) export?” 

He added a new legislation were being circulated in the U.S. Senate in 2013, according to which Iran’s oil exports would have to come to a halt. 

If that had happened, the U.S. administration would have not been able to start dialogue with Iran because it was outside the administration’s authority. 

Zarif says Iran not seeking clash with Saudi Arabia

Zarif also said Iran does not seek animosity with Saudi Arabia and is ready to have “constructive” relations with the country.

“We have never ruled out intermediary efforts. Pakistani, Indonesian, Kazakh and Russian officials have given proposals to mediate and we did not oppose. We are not seeking clashes with Saudi Arabia and the problem is not mediators. What is essential is a change in attitude of the Saudi officials,” he remarked.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have cut diplomatic ties since January 2016.


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