Zarif says Iran will never negotiate a new deal with U.S.

January 18, 2020 - 19:29

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that Iran will never negotiate a new nuclear deal with the United States.

“We will never negotiate a new deal,” Zarif said in a meeting with All India Association of Industries (AIAI) in Mumbai.

The 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Under the accord Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the deal in May 2018 and slapped the harshest ever sanctions in history against Iran in line with his administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.

“Resolution of the United Nations’ Security Council on Iran’s nuclear program is 159 pages which may be the longest resolution of the United Nations. However, India can play a role if the United States returns to the JCPOA,” Zarif said when asked about the possibility of India’s mediation to reduce Iran-U.S. tension.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News in an interview published on January 12 that the JCPOA is the “strongest” and “most transparent” agreement on the planet.

“Britain, China, Russia are all still trying to keep the agreement in place because they recognize it’s the strongest, most transparent, most accountable nuclear agreement on the planet,” he said.

In a high-profile speech on Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out the possibility of talks with the U.S., saying dialogue with the enemy is mixed with chicanery and deceit.

“We do not fear negotiations, however, not with the United States,” the Leader said.

‘JCPOA is not Iran-U.S. deal’
 
On British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s remarks about replacing the nuclear deal with the “Trump deal”, Zarif said that in this way in the future there will need to reach “[Elizabeth] Warren’s deal” or “[Bernie] Sanders’ deal”.

“The JCPOA is an agreement between us, the United States and five other important countries and one country’s withdrawal is not accepted,” he noted.

‘Iran ready to hold talks with Saudi Arabia’

Zarif also said that Iran is ready to hold talks with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf littoral states.

“We are ready to offer propositions about regional security, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, and we have presented propositions for maintaining peace in the Strait of Hormuz,” he said.

At the United Nations summit in New York in late September, Iran officially unveiled the proposal for regional security.

“Based upon the historical responsibility of my country in maintaining security, peace, stability, and progress in the Persian Gulf region and Strait of Hormuz, I would like to invite all the countries directly affected by the developments in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz to the ‘Coalition for Hope’, meaning Hormuz Peace Endeavor,” President Hassan Rouhani told the UN delegates.

Foreign Minister Zarif has invited all regional states to join the peace plan for securing the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

In a tweet in September, Zarif said the initiative entails “dialogue, confidence-building, freedom of navigation, energy security, non-aggression, and non-intervention”.

NA/PA

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