Rouhani: U.S. should return to right track if it really wants to talk to Iran 

January 1, 2020 - 19:3

TEHRAN- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a ceremony in Ardabil province on Wednesday, voiced his country’s readiness to resume talks with the U.S. provided that Washington returns to the 2015 nuclear deal and fulfils its obligations under the pact, including lift of sanctions.  

“A plot has been hatched against us (by the U.S.) to damage our greatness to force us to be surrendered and to be obedient, however, it is not possible in face of our nation; instead, they should return from their wrong path they started once,” the president said. 

“We are ready for negotiations whenever they (the U.S. officials) confess their wrong policy. We are ready to talk to you, to listen to your words. You should listen to our words too,” Rouhani said. 

“You are not a superior government than the Iranian government. We respect your people, but, we strongly protest your ruling system. We condemn your measures, but meantime, we remind that the returning path is open to you,” the president advised the U.S. officials. 

Earlier this month, Rouhani said that Iran was resisting sanctions but his country had not closed the door to negotiations.

“We have no way but resistance against sanctions, however, we have not closed door of negotiations,” Rouhani said during a speech at the Insurance and Development Conference.
 
The president said if the sanctions against Iran were lifted, he would be ready to meet the leaders of the countries party to the nuclear deal.
 
“If they remove sanctions, we are prepared for talks at the level of 5+1 group’s heads of states,” Rouhani remarked.

The nuclear deal was signed between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) plus Germany in July 2015. 

Under the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and confirmed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran was obligated to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of the economic and financial sanctions.

However, in May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump officially abandoned the JCPOA and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history against Iran. 

The Trump administration not only returned the previous sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal it added new ones, including a total ban on Iran’s oil exports.

Trump’s administration has even threatened to penalize any country or company that does business with Iran. 

In response to the abrogation of the JCPOA by the U.S. and a failure by the remaining parties, particularly the Europeans, to protect Iran’s economy from the sanctions' effects, Iran has started to partially reduce its commitments to the JCPOA in accordance to the paragraph 36 of the multilateral agreement.
  
(Paragraph 36 provided a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.)

Iran started to scale down its commitments after waiting for a full year that the remaining parties honor their obligations.
 
However, Tehran has insisted if sanctions are lifted it will immediately reverse its decisions.


MJ/PA

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