Biden will not lift Iran sanctions, MP predicts

November 24, 2020 - 0:25

TEHRAN – Hossein Mirzayee, an Iranian lawmaker, has predicted that a Biden administration would not lift sanctions on Iran.

“Sanctions are not an issue that will be lifted when Biden takes office, because containing Iran is central to American policy,” Mirzayee told the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) on Sunday.

He added, “The Americans’ policy has always been based on containing the Islamic Republic of Iran in various fields such as regional influence and missile capabilities.”

However, the lawmaker pointed to the difference between Democrats and Republicans in terms of their ways to counter Iran. According to Mirzayee, Democrats and Republicans both seek to undermine the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

The lawmaker also pointed to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – as an experience that will remain vivid in the memory of the Iranian people, reminding them of the American “lies and deceit”.

Mirzayee called on the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran.

“If White House officials intend to negotiate genuinely, they should lift the sanctions in the first place and then compensate the JCPOA [failure],” the lawmaker remarked.

Earlier on Saturday, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board, Alireza Salimi, also called on the U.S. to make up for the losses Iran incurred following Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Salimi said Washington and its European allies should pay Iran $200 billion in compensation for the JCPOA failure.

“The withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the non-fulfillment of JCPOA commitments by the Europeans have caused damage of between 150 and 200 billion dollars to our country,” Salimi told ICANA.

According to the legislator, the U.S. and Europe have created a kind of division of labor not to implement the nuclear deal. “And now, if the U.S. wants to rejoin the JCPOA, it should compensate Iran,” he said.

Iran has called on the U.S. to unconditionally return to its commitments under the JCPOA.

“The U.S. is definitely in no position to set out conditions for us. As a UN member and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the U.S. is duty-bound to implement Resolution 2231. If the resolution is implemented, the sanctions will be removed. Iran has announced that in that case, it will resume honoring its commitments under the JCPOA,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. “Thus, first, if the U.S. meets its commitments under Resolution 2231, we will fulfill ours under the JCPOA. Second, if the U.S. seeks to join the JCPOA again, we are ready to negotiate the terms and conditions of Washington’s membership in the deal.”

The foreign minister made the remarks in an interview with the Iran newspaper that was published last week.

Speculations about a possible thaw in Iran-U.S. relations have gained momentum after U.S. leading news organizations projected Biden to win the U.S. November presidential election. Biden himself had said that he would rejoin the JCPOA if he won the election.

“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal's provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern,” Biden said in a September op-ed for CNN.

But Biden did not make any remarks about his Iran policy since the election. He did not say how he would rejoin the JCPOA.

SM/PA

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