Zarif's letter to EU's Borrell contains no plans: Foreign Ministry

March 13, 2021 - 21:5

TEHRAN - Saeed Khatibzadeh, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, confirms that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sent a letter to Josep Borrell, the EU coordinator for the joint commission of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On Saturday, he noted, “In a bid to elaborate on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s positions on developments related to the JCPOA, the foreign minister of our country sent a letter on March 12, 2021 to Josep Borrell, the coordinator for the Joint Commission of the JCPOA." 

“Of course, Dr. Zarif has sent several letters to Mr. Borrell and, earlier, to Ms. Mogherini regarding the JCPOA, and this latest letter has been written and sent within the same framework,” he remarked.

“This letter explains the Islamic Republic of Iran’s attitude and contains no plans,” Khatibzadeh said.

The letter makes it clear that the first step for the U.S. to fully comply with its commitments is to correct its mistakes with regards to breaching the JCPOA and imposing sanctions on Iran, the spokesman explained. 

According to, Iran’s chief diplomat has slammed U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for making “any future progress more difficult” amid continued deadlock over the JCPOA.

Zarif also criticized the Biden administration’s approach to the Obama-era deal, saying that “offering engagement with Iran does not reflect a change of policy,” noting that former president Donald Trump “was also prepared to engage.” Zarif additionally accused Europe of plotting with the U.S. to instigate “a misinformation propaganda campaign” geared to extract Iranian concessions via “extortion.”

The letter begins by reiterating Iran’s “full commitment” to the JCPOA and its “readiness to immediately return to full implementation.” However, it says a reversal to full compliance with the deal hinges on the Biden administration’s “full removal of all sanctions imposed, re-imposed or re-labeled” since Trump took office in January 2017.

Questioning the U.S. insistence on Iran being the first party to return to full compliance, Zarif charged that “seeking to remove an effect without eliminating the cause...can never work.” 

Importantly, Zarif stated that the Biden administration is “boxing itself into a position that can make it impossible to make progress,” arguing that “statements such as the one made by Secretary Blinken in Congress this week makes any future progress more difficult.” 

“Seeking to remove an effect without eliminating the cause...can never work,” Zarif tells the Biden team in the letter to Borrell. 

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