Tehran says ready to return to full compliance with JCPOA if next U.S. admin honors the deal

November 18, 2020 - 17:53

TEHRAN — Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has voiced Iran’s readiness to return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if the next U.S. administration honors the deal.

“Iran is definitely ready if the other side is ready to get back to full implementation of the JCPOA,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

He was referring to the nuclear deal Iran signed with six world powers, including the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany, in July 2015 which was ditched by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 in pursuit of a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Trump’s withdrawal came while Iran was in full compliance with the treaty. All other parties to the deal have repeatedly criticized the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran.

Khatibzadeh said the United States’ maximum pressure campaign has evolved into a “maximum failure” for that country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Khatibzadeh says the United States’ maximum pressure campaign has evolved into a “maximum failure” for that country.

Asked if Iran would “trust” the U.S. if President-elect Joe Biden was to take over the White House, the spokesman said the U.S. had shown everyone that it was not trustworthy.

“The issue is not trust. Actually, the nuclear agreement was negotiated based on mutual mistrust. So, this matters most. And we’re just looking at the behavior of who is going to run the White House,” he said, adding that it was too soon to tell what was going to happen in the future.

Khatibzadeh, meanwhile, addressed the lame-duck Trump administration’s claim that it was going to build a “wall of sanctions” that, some officials have said, no U.S. administration would be able to break down to return to the JCPOA and lift the economic restrictions.

“In their own words…‘there’s nothing left to be sanctioned,’” he said, citing U.S. officials’ admissions concerning the extent of Washington’s sanctioning spree against Iran.

“These are part of psychological war against Iranians,” he said, adding, “There’s nothing more they can do other than to continue this psychological warfare against the Iranian nation.”

Khatibzadeh said the outgoing U.S. officials were making such claims out of frustration and in order to convince the world that their maximum pressure policy was still alive.

“Everybody knows to what extent they’ve not been able to reach any goals of their policy.”

Biden’s victory in the November 3 presidential election raised hopes over the prospects of a re-entry into the JCPOA by the incoming administration.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the United States to change tack and reconsider its “inhumane behaviors” toward other countries.

“The new U.S. administration should reconsider its inhumane behaviors toward other countries in the first place in order to repair the country’s tarnished image in the international community,” Rouhani said.

“Now, an opportunity has opened up for the next U.S. administration to make up for the past mistakes and return to abiding by international commitments through respecting international regulations,” he said.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has dismissed rejoining the deal under the Biden administration as a “crazy idea”. 

“This is – it’s a crazy idea to think that you’re going to get back into a deal that permitted a clean pathway for the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon by which they could terrorize the entire world,” Pompeo said on The Hugh Hewitt Show last week.

Pompeo said it was not right to normalize with Iran. “Today, they continue to build out their missile program, to extend their capacity to wreak terror across the world,” claimed Pompeo whom Iranian Foreign Minister has labeled as the “secretary of hate”.


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