By staff and agency

William Burns and Jake Sullivan call Trump’s decision to quit nuclear deal ‘foolish’

October 15, 2019

William J. Burns, a former U.S. deputy secretary of state, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser to former vice president Joe Biden, have said that the Trump administration’s decision to quit the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was “foolish”.

“The consequences of the Trump administration’s foolish decision to abandon that nuclear deal last year, with no evidence of Iranian noncompliance, were predictable — and predicted,” they wrote in an article published by The New York Times on Monday.

“We are now at a very dangerous point,” the article added.

“The Trump administration, for its part, believed unrealistically that its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and saber-rattling would cause Iran to fold and accept America’s terms. But it failed to see that Iran has its own cards to play,” the two former senior officials wrote.
It added, “The Trump administration, for its part, believed unrealistically that its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and saber-rattling would cause Iran to fold and accept America’s terms. But it failed to see that Iran has its own cards to play.”

It is also said in the article that the U.S. should remove sanctions against Iran and abandon its 12 preconditions to start talks with Tehran.

“The United States won’t get Iran to the table without some economic relief — either directly or through the European Union, as President Emmanuel Macron of France has suggested. The United States will also need to abandon as a precondition for progress the 12 demands that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out publicly last year,” they wrote.

It is also said, “The nuclear deal agreed to in 2015 was meant to be the beginning, not the end, of diplomacy with Iran.”

In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal and returned the previous sanctions and imposed new harsh ones.

Tehran has been insisting that the only path to negotiations between Tehran and Washington is that the U.S. lift all the sanctions that it has illegally and unilaterally imposed on Iran.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in September that removal of sanctions was Iran’s condition for President Hassan Rouhani’s talks with leaders of the 5+1 group.

“Our condition for Mr. Rouhani’s talks with heads of state of the 5+1 group, and not just between Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Trump, was removal of sanctions,” he told reporters.

President Rouhani said in a press conference on Monday that the Trump administration committed a great mistake by abandoning the nuclear deal.

He said that Iran is ready to hold talks within the 5+1 group whenever the sanctions are removed.

In August, he also said there will be no change in Iran-U.S. relations without the removal of all sanctions and change of the wrong path that Washington have taken.

“If someone just seeks to take photo with Hassan Rouhani, it is not possible unless they remove all the cruel sanctions and respect the Iranian people’s rights,” he emphasized.

“Change of our behavior towards those who have imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran and launched economic terrorism will start when they repent. They should return to their commitments and change the wrong path they have taken. They should serve the interests of the world and the international security. They should recognize the Iranians’ rights and respect the revolution and the Islamic system,” the president asserted.

NA/PA

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