Iran wants to save nuclear deal: Araghchi

No deal can survive if there is no balance between gives and takes, Araqchi says of JCPOA

December 17, 2019 - 19:57

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has said that Iran wants to save the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“The message is that we want to save the deal. The purpose is not to kill the deal. Otherwise, we could have withdrawn from the deal right after the U.S. withdrew on May 8, 2018, and nobody would have blamed us because that was in reaction to what the U.S. has done,” he told CGTN in an interview published on Tuesday.

“But we decided to give diplomacy a chance to save the deal. And now,… we are exercising our right in paragraph 36 of the deal. So, we are still in the deal and are trying to take remedy measures in order to save the deal,” he added.

He said, “No deal can survive if there is not a balance between gives and takes. And we have no balance in the deal right now. Iran is fully committed to its obligations up to May this year. But we received nothing. So, what Iran is doing is still trying to restore the balance in the deal, which hasn’t happen yet.”

Araghchi asserts that Iran wouldn’t bow to pressure. Negotiating under maximum pressure is tantamount to surrender, Araghchi believes. 

So, for the Iranian government, at this moment, negotiation with the United States would be out of the political equation.

Looking at the long run, Araghchi believes that Iran would not shape its own policy based on what's happening in the United States. 

“We are not counting on who is the U.S. president and who is not. We have a very basic principle and strategy. And we are following it very carefully. We don't think the change of president in the United States would change anything in the relation with Iran, unless somebody come who can fulfill the commitments they have already made and unless they will back to the JCPOA. So, we can, again, talk with them in the JCPOA format. That is the only possibility,” he said.

Elsewhere, he said, “China is a major international player. We believe that, like Russia, China also can play a very constructive role in problems that exist in the Middle East and other regions.”  

“We have a very good experience of working with China for coming to a conclusion on Iran’s nuclear program. China was a part of JCPOA and still an important participant to the JCPOA. We appreciate China’s position to protect the deal and save the deal. So, China already played its role in the JCPOA, which was a very important question in the Middle East,” he said.

NA/PA

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