Iran says won’t negotiate terms of nuclear pact

November 25, 2020 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi has said the nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was signed in July 2015, is not open to new rounds of negotiations.

There will be no new negotiations for the JCPOA because negotiations concerning the deal were held in the past and led to the deal, Vaezi told reporters after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

According to Mehr, Vaezi also said while Iran has welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s defeat, it is not optimistic about any of the U.S. administrations unless they act differently.

Former European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said there will be resistance to further “asks” of Iran, especially if the U.S. is not offering more in return.

“President Rouhani announced today that if the other JCPOA parties return to January 20, 2017, the day Trump came to power, Iran is ready to step back to the same date as well,” the presidential chief of staff said.

Vaezi, who was a high-ranking diplomat in the Rafsanjani administration, said Trump has disturbed the international order and ruined international relations, including those in the Middle East.

“He has put intense pressure on the Iranian people over the past three years,” he added.

Tensions soared between Tehran and Washington when Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018. The U.S. president not only exited the deal but has since targeted Iran with a series of harsh economic bans. Trump has called the sanctions his “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal.

However, Tehran has rejected renegotiating the terms of the deal.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has insisted that “under no circumstances” would Tehran consider renegotiating the terms of the deal which was adopted as a UN Security Council Resolution.

“If we wanted to do that [renegotiate], we would have done it with President Trump four years ago,” Zarif told CBS News earlier this month.

Former European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said there will be resistance to further “asks” of Iran, especially if the U.S. is not offering more in return.

“Yet the Iranians will be relieved to have survived the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign — and undoubtedly many will hope Biden’s election represents the opening of a new chapter,” Ashton wrote in an article published by Time magazine on Monday. “But there will be little appetite in Tehran to do more, if asked.”

She confirmed that until President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal, Iran kept to its side of the bargain.

Ashton added, “Finding a way to get support in Congress will be challenging when, as things stand, the Democrats may not have control of the Senate. To put a revived JCPOA on firm foundations, he needs to be able to guarantee that if Iran sticks to its part of the bargain, the U.S. will too.”

She also called on the incoming Biden administration to work with Congress, saying, “Returning to the JCPOA with only Presidential authority to keep it in place might work for the short term, but it is not a sustainable approach.”

MH/PA

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