Takht-Ravanchi says ‘window of diplomacy’ not closed to save JCPOA

Iran says can’t trust Trump who acts recklessly 

May 10, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi has said that there is still a “window of diplomacy” to save the Iran nuclear deal, aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Speaking to PBS’s Nick Schifrin on “NewsHour” in an interview aired on Thursday, Takht-Ravanchi stated that Iran’s decision to suspend some its commitments to the JCPOA comes only after a year of patience since the United States unilaterally violated the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

“Over the last year, we exercised extreme patience in order to show that Iran is ready to take extra mile, in order to show that it is sincere in its implementation of the nuclear deal,” he said.

“But, unfortunately, due to U.S. bullying of even its closest allies, we have not received the economic benefit that we were promised to receive based on the nuclear deal. And then we were left with no other option than to say that, for 60 days, we are going to stop implementing or to cease performance of some of our obligations, voluntary obligations, based on the nuclear deal.

“There is no utility in meeting somebody (Trump) who carelessly tear apart an international agreement.”And we will see what will happen during the next 60 days. The window of diplomacy is not closed. We believe that Iran will speak, will negotiate with the partners, the remaining participants of the JCPOA, and we will see what will be the outcome of the negotiations.”

Asked why Iran needs to enrich uranium at a higher level than 3.67 percent, he answered “Well, no, for the time being, we are adhering to the JCPOA on the limit of the enrichment, the level of enrichment. What we have said is, for the next 60 days, we are going just to be free for our stockpile. We are not talking about enriching more than 3.67 percent for the next 60 days.”

“… our partners have had more than enough time, … for the last year or so … to compensate what the Americans have done to the JCPOA. So if they cannot do it in the next two months, that means that the political will is not there. And then we will act in accordance with our national interests.”

On U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement earlier the day that he would like to meet with Iranian leaders, the diplomat said, “There is… no utility in meeting somebody who carelessly tear apart, you know, an international agreement. It wasn't an agreement between Iran and the United States. Other countries, the European Union were part of it. So, all of a sudden, we see that the president comes and says, I don't like it because of so many reasons, because the former president took the initiative to sign such an agreement with Iran. So, how can we trust somebody who carelessly and recklessly do something like this?”

The host then asked Takht-Ravanchi about concerns that Tehran’s new stance will allow hard-liners in the U.S. and perhaps Israel a stronger case to argue that Iran is not trustworthy, to which he replied by saying: “I think the hard-liners, as our foreign minister has coined it, four B's, Bibi Netanyahu, Bolton, bin Zayed, and bin Salman, they are doing whatever they can, no matter what Iran does.

“So it doesn't matter how we are dealing with JCPOA. Their agenda is to provoke. Their agenda is to agitate the situation. Their agenda is to prepare a war against Iran. We are not trying to wage war against anybody, but, definitely, we will defend ourselves no matter what.”

SP/PA

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