High time for U.S. to wake up to new reality: Iranian Foreign Ministry

September 25, 2021 - 21:44
Iran says it engages in only results-oriented talks

TEHRAN - The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry has once again reiterated Tehran’s resolve to engage in only results-oriented talks to revive a nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015, saying it is high time for the United States, which unilaterally quit the agreement, "to wake up to new reality."

“Only Iran speaks for Iran. Our mandate is to engage in only RESULTS-oriented dialogue,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet on Friday.

He rejected talks for sake of talks and "the fallacy that economic terrorism works." 

It is "high time for the party that unilaterally left JCPOA to wake up to new reality,” Khatibzadeh said, referring to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Khatibzadeh’s tweet came after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Tehran is ready to resume talks on the JCPOA revival “very soon” but the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is sending a “negative sign” by keeping illegal sanctions on Tehran.

“Contradictory messages”

Abdollahian said on Friday that Biden is adding to “the thick file of the Trump sanctions against Iran.’’ 

In interviews with journalists during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Abdollahian said that Iran would return “very soon” to negotiations in Vienna. But Tehran, he said, had received “contradictory messages” from Washington about restoring the agreement jettisoned by Donald Trump more than three years ago.

In the talks in Vienna the Biden administration has been seeking a “longer and stronger” accord than the original JCPOA and that was the chief reason that why the sides failed to revive the accord before President Rouhani’s presidency comes to an end.

“We will not have a so-called ‘longer and stronger’ deal,” Abdollahian told The New York Times in an interview on Thursday night at his hotel opposite the United Nations headquarters. The 2015 accord “has a lot of harsh critics in Iran,” he said, “but we accepted it.”

New Iranian FM says “the standard for us will be one to watch the action of U.S. officials and judge based on actions taken by Biden.” 

The new foreign minister said the previous Iranian government had spent far too much energy negotiating lengthy, detailed agreements with the United States.

“The standard for us,” said Abdollahian, “will be one to watch the action of U.S. officials and judge based on actions taken by President Biden,” rather than on Biden’s “paradoxical statements.”

He suggested that the Iran deal went off the rails long before Trump took office. He said that President Barack Obama had worked, even after the accord was reached, to keep Iran from reaping the benefits of sanctions removal.

“It’s important to note that the violations began under Obama, and then President Trump,” he said, saying that banks and energy companies pulled back from signing deals even when the agreement was in place.

The New York Times said Abdollahian was right. It said many companies feared the rules would change again after the 2016 presidential election. That fear proved warranted, as Trump rescinded the deal and imposed new sanctions.

The same could happen again, Abdollahian said, so Iran is learning how to live in a world of sanctions. “We will not tie the fate of our nation to the JCPOA,” he said.
“We will return to the negotiations and will do so very quickly,” he told The Times. “But if our counterparts don’t change their behavior we may not reach the required result.”

In an interview with NBC News on Thursday, the top Iranian diplomat also said Biden needed to back up his talk of diplomacy with concrete actions to show Iran that Washington is serious about restoring the nuclear deal.

Addressing the annual UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Biden claimed his willingness to rejoin the JCPOA and resolve the issue with Iran over its nuclear program.

The U.S. president said Washington was "working" with China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany to "engage Iran diplomatically and to seek a return to" the JCPOA.

"We're prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same," he said, according to Press TV.

However, Farid Zakaria, a Washington Post columnist, has recently expressed surprise at Biden normalizing Trump’s foreign policy in many areas, including the JCPOA.

“After almost eight months of watching policies, rhetoric and crises, many foreign observers have been surprised — even shocked — to discover that, in area after area, Biden’s foreign policy is a faithful continuation of Donald Trump’s and a repudiation of Barack Obama’s,” Zakaria wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

Zakaria was understandably surprised at the continuation of Trump’s policies by Biden. “Another striking example of Biden’s surprisingly Trumpian foreign policy is the Iran deal, one of the landmark accomplishments of the Obama administration. Throughout his election campaign, Biden argued that Trump’s withdrawal from that agreement had been a cardinal error and that, as president, he would rejoin it as long as Iran would also move into compliance. His national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, described Trump’s reimposing of secondary sanctions against Tehran despite opposition from U.S. allies as ‘predatory unilateralism,’” he noted, adding, “But since he took office, Biden has failed to return to the deal and has even extended some sanctions. Having long argued against trying to renegotiate the deal, Biden officials now want to ‘lengthen and strengthen’ it. So far, this Trump-Biden strategy has not worked.”



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