Araghchi warns of ‘forces of darkness’ trying to prevent JCPOA revival

February 5, 2021 - 17:28

TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araghchi has warned that “forces of darkness” comprised of regional and extra-regional forces are hell-bent on preventing the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers.

“All parties must beware of those who have been hostile to this nuclear deal right from the start and have repeatedly acknowledged it. These forces include the Zionist regime [Israel], some Arab states, some groups inside America, and some groups in Europe who acted against the JCPOA right from the start and rejoiced at Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the JCPOA. They are the sworn enemies of the Islamic Republic and thus can be called the forces of darkness,” Araghchi said in remarks delivered at a gathering of Iranian entrepreneurs on Thursday.

He said these forces are working hard to destroy the Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“All these forces of darkness are determined to prevent the revival of the JCPOA. They are well aware that the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is moving so strongly into the future without the JCPOA, will become an undisputed power in the region and the world if it can strengthen its economy by relying on its own capabilities and by lifting sanctions. Everyone must be vigilant of the forces that are everywhere seeking to defeat this movement, and pursue their policies in the right and wise direction,” the deputy foreign minister continued.

He said the revival of the nuclear deal is a “good thing” for Iran but “we are not begging for it.”

He pointed out that the United States and its allies think that the JCPOA is useful in terms of maintaining security and strengthening non-proliferation efforts in the world.

The deputy foreign minister said they must return to their commitments under the deal and then “we will do the same thing.”

“If this happens, no one will roll out the red carpet for them,” Araghchi said, adding that the Islamic Republic has adopted measures to protect its dignity and prestige.

However he predicted that the revival of the JCPOA may happen in the coming weeks.  

“If they are ready to change course, we will welcome it, and this is something that may happen in the coming weeks. It is also possible that the forces of darkness will try to prevent this from happening. The path of independence, dignity and honor is very important to us and there will be no change in this path,” Araghchi pointed out.

The senior Iranian diplomat also welcomed the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s idea of pursuing “maximum diplomacy” instead of what came to be known as “maximum pressure.”

“Mr. Borrell, the EU's senior foreign policy coordinator, is the coordinator of the implementation of the JCPOA. In an interview yesterday, he spoke of replacing maximum diplomacy with maximum pressure. Maximum diplomacy is definitely something we will welcome. Of course, it should be noted that this diplomacy will be successful when it leads to the complete restoration of a JCPOA from which nothing has been reduced and to it nothing has been added,” Araghchi said.

He added, “They must return to the JCPOA and fulfill their obligations, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to do so. There is no way to achieve this goal other than maximum diplomacy.”

Earlier on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif proposed that the EU foreign policy chief “choreograph” the process of reviving the JCPOA.

According to Zarif, there can be a mechanism through which Borrell would synchronize or coordinate what can be done to revive the JCPOA.

“JCPOA has a mechanism built into the deal that is the Joint Commission. And the Joint Commission has a coordinator. The coordinator has two hats – it used to be Federica Mogherini now it is Josep Borrell. He has two hats; One hat is he is the high representative of the European Union for foreign defense policy. The other hat is the coordinator of the Joint Commission. He can put his hat as the coordinator of the Joint Commission and sort of choreograph the actions that are needed to be taken by the United States and the actions that are needed to be taken by Iran,” Zarif said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour late on Monday.

Borrell has responded positively to this offer by calling for maximum diplomacy between Iran and the United States to restore the deal.

He said on Thursday that the former Donald Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran should have long been abandoned in favor of diplomatic engagement and interaction.

Borrell reminded how former U.S. President Donald Trump undermined the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers through his “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

“We need to move from 'maximum pressure' to 'maximum diplomacy' through the JCPOA Joint Commission,” Borrell told Interfax news agency before making a trip to Moscow.


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