U.S. behavior has not changed, Zarif says

February 26, 2021 - 22:48

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has castigated the new U.S. administration for not changing tack on Iran, urging the White House to remove the cause that forced Iran to reduce its nuclear commitments.

“U.S. admits that only after it ‘left the JCPOA, Iran has taken steps away’ while until then ‘Iran was living up to its limits.’ That US behavior—the CAUSE—has not changed,” Zarif said in a tweet on Thursday.

The foreign minister was referring to U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price’s remarks during his February 24 press briefing, at which he said that Iran started to reduce its nuclear commitments with the 2015 nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)- after the U.S. withdrew from it.

“Over the course of the past couple years – ever since May of 2018 when the United States left the JCPOA, Iran has taken steps away from the nuclear deal, the nuclear deal that, when it was in effect, was verifiably and permanently blocking Iran’s ability to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Price claimed.

The spokesperson pointed out, “We can’t go back to the Joint Commission and make clear when we think Iran has come into violation of the JCPOA. Look, again, I would point you to the fact that we have full faith and full confidence in the director general of the IAEA, full faith and full confidence in the IAEA. The IAEA, while the Iran deal, while the JCPOA was in full effect, while Iran was abiding by it, they expressed confidence that Iran was living up to its limits.”

Priced added, “Now, this is a – not an uncomplicated set of issues, and I know you’re referring to some of these technical matters. But the IAEA – and I certainly wouldn’t want to speak to them, but I suspect if you go and ask them, they will tell you that they were satisfied by Iran’s compliance with the deal. Iran was complying with the deal.”

Zarif also criticized the European signatories to the JCPOA – France, Germany and the UK (E3)- for not doing business with Iran for three years after the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

“E3 also culpable-no business with Iran for 3 years. US/E3 must remove the cause, NOT ask Iran to stop ¶36 remedies,” the chief Iranian diplomat said.

Following Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran embarked on a policy of gradually reducing its nuclear commitments in response to the U.S. imposition of economic sanctions on Iran.

Iran started to reduce JCPOA commitments at bimonthly intervals exactly one year after the U.S. left the agreement and imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Even at the time Iran insisted that if the remaining parties to the deal, especially the Europeans, shield Iran from U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decisions.

Zarif has long said that Iran’s measures in this regard are consistent with the terms of the JCPOA, particularly paragraph 36, which he asked the Europeans to read.

“Have our E3 partners ever read para 36 of JCPOA & Iran's many letters on that basis? By what logic is the onus on IRAN to stop its remedial measures undertaken a full year after the US withdrew from—and continues to violate—the JCPOA? What have E3 done to fulfill their duties?” Zarif tweeted on February 12.

One day earlier, Zarif had said that the Biden administration has failed to break with Trump’s Iran policy of imposing economic pressure on Iran.

“Biden administration officials keep talking about Iran’s compliance with JCPOA. In what capacity? U.S. ceased participation in May 2018, violated JCPOA & punished those complying with UN resolution. As of today, U.S. remains in EXACTLY same position. Before spouting off, COMPLY,” Zarif tweeted.

SM/PA

Comments

  • 2021-02-28 00:02
    Dear Iran, Never trust the west.Build your nukes and stay safe.

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