Iran mustn’t leave JCPOA on any account, says top MP

July 30, 2019

TEHRAN – Spokesman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee says Tehran must certainly not leave the nuclear agreement, also referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was struck between Tehran and six world powers in 2015 but was abandoned by the U.S. in 2018.

“As a person who has opposed Barjam (JCPOA) from the very beginning and believed that Barjam would not come to fruition, I state clearly that the Islamic Republic must not leave Barjam on any account,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said on Monday, ISNA reported.

On May 8, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA, which Iran struck with six countries including the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany. Under the JCPOA, Iran had agreed to limit parts of its peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all economic and financial sanctions.

After the withdrawal, the U.S. imposed what it called the “toughest sanctions ever” against Iran, despite the international community’s strong objection.

Naqavi Hosseini argued that since Iran has paid the price for the JCPOA by fulfilling all of its commitments, it must not exit the deal.

“We shouldn’t have entered the agreement in the first place, but now that we did and paid the price for it, exiting it would impose costs on the country,” he stated.

“We reduce our commitments and this is a proper response because Europeans are waiting for our withdrawal,” the MP added.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. withdrawal, Tehran said its “strategic patience” is over and announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the nuclear pact. 

The announcement, which was declared by the Supreme National Security Council, stated that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities as long as sanctions are in place. 

It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to protect it from the sanctions’ effects.

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Naqavi Hosseini ruled out the idea of talks with the U.S. as a “red line” of the Islamic Republic.

“We do not regard Americans [worthy] to negotiate with,” he said, adding that the U.S. administration of Donald Trump is wasting its time by sending mediators, giving phone numbers and waiting for Iran to call “because we will not negotiate on any account.”

Trump has occasionally offered to hold dialogue with Iran, while at the same time adding to the list of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei categorically rejected the notion of talks, saying Iran will not at all “repeat the bitter experience” it gained from the negotiations that led to the nuclear deal and later ditched by Trump.

No wise man would enter talks with a country that has reneged on all agreements, the Leader asserted.

MH/PA

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