Jake Sullivan says diplomacy is only path to revive JCPOA

February 20, 2021 - 17:26

TEHRAN - In interview with CNN on Friday, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor, said, “The first and most important thing for us to communicate is that we believe diplomacy has to be part of the answer of solving the Iranian nuclear issue.”

Sullivan emphasized the U.S. wants to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program and noted, “That means being prepared to sit down at the table with the permanent five members of the Security Council, plus Germany and Iran, to talk about how we get Iran back into compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action.”

Announcing that the Biden administration will accept the EU invitation to meet with the Iranian diplomats, he said, “So President Biden directed us to agree to the invitation by the European Union to join a meeting at a date to be determined where we can begin those discussions. We're at an early stage here.”

“It's going to take work, it's going to take hard-headed, clear-eyed diplomacy, and ultimately it's going to take a decision by Iran that they are prepared to take the steps required to assure the world and to prove to the world that their program is for exclusively peaceful purposes,” he added. 

The U.S. national security advisor reiterated Biden’s words towards the revival of the JCPOA and underscored, “Steps by Iran to do that, clearly, and steps by the United States to meet its obligations.”

Meanwhile, he acknowledged, “The U.S. which is in contravention and came out of that deal, and Iran is calling for sanctions to be lifted.”
 
“Well, what we have said repeatedly is that United States is prepared to come back into compliance with its terms if Iran is ready to come back into compliance with its terms of the deal,” Sullivan said in answer to the question about the mechanism for synchronicity to salvage the JCPOA. 

In response to the Trump administration’s unilateral and illegal revocation of the nuclear agreement in May 2018, Iran began to reduce its commitments to the agreement after waiting for a full year. Iran did this after seeing no action by the remaining JCPO parties, especially the European trio (E3), to protect Iran from the sanctions effects. In December 2020, the Iranian Parliament also approved a legislation obliging the government to speed up nuclear activities in a move to prompt the Western side to lift sanctions on Iran.   

All Iran’s remedial nuclear measures, which are in accordance to paragraph 36 of the JCPOA, are taking place under the supervision of the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

“One of our concerns is Iran is threatening to move even further out of compliance, to refuse to cooperate with the international atomic energy agency in the work it's trying to do to ensure that nothing in Iran’s program is being used for weapons purposes,” Sullivan said.

He demanded Iran to reassess its policy towards the JCPOA, saying, “So I think the first order of business here would be for the Iranians to take the position to stop moving further out of compliance.”

Finally, he expressed hope to save the agreement by diplomatic means and stressed, “Then I believe there is a diplomatic pathway to getting to ultimate agreement in which we can all have confidence that Iran’s nuclear program has a lid on it, the kind of lid that was on it when we were all in the joint comprehensive action plan together.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has declared production, stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) as haram (religiously banned).

EE/PA

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