Iran says onus on Biden to provide ‘objective guarantees’ on JCPOA

November 2, 2021 - 18:19

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has called on U.S. President Joe Biden to provide concrete guarantees that Washington won’t renege on its commitments under a revived nuclear deal with Iran again.

Khatibzadeh’s tweet came after President Biden said in a joint statement with the leaders of France, Germany, and the UK that Washington will abide by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), so long as Iran does the same. 

“The current situation underscores the importance of a negotiated solution that provides for the return of Iran and the U.S. to full compliance with the JCPOA and provides the basis for continued diplomatic engagement to resolve remaining points of contention – both our concerns and Iran’s. In this spirit, we welcome President Biden’s clearly demonstrated commitment to return the U.S. to full compliance with the JCPOA and to stay in full compliance, so long as Iran does the same,” the joint statement said. 

This part of the statement was widely seen as an attempt by the Biden administration to allay Iran’s concerns over a possible U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA in case it is revived. And the apparent pledge of Biden was met with varied reactions in Iran and the U.S. 

In Washington, some Iran hawks sought to nullify Biden’s perceived pledge by underlining that the U.S. can withdraw from the JCPOA any time, particularly if a Republican president takes the rein in the White House. Senator Ted Cruz went so far as to predict that any future Republican president will rip up the JCPOA again. 

“Nope. Joe Biden has ZERO constitutional authority to make that commitment,” Cruz said on Twitter. “Unless any deal w/ Iran is ratified by the Senate as a treaty—which Biden knows will NOT happen—it is a 100% certainty that any future Republican president will tear it up. Again.”

“Rogue regime”

Khatibzadeh strongly reacted to Cruz’s prediction, describing it as proof of the U.S. being a “rogue regime.”

“The world is acutely aware of what Mr. Cruz confesses: that regimes in Washington are rogue,” the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said on Twitter. 

He then called on Biden to provide credible guarantees that Cruz’s prediction won’t come true.

“Onus is on @POTUS to convince int'l community—incl all JCPOA participants—that his signature means something. For that, ‘objective guarantees’ needed. No one would accept anything less,” Khatibzadeh added.

Earlier on Monday, Khatibzadeh issued a statement in response to the one issued by Biden and the three European signatories to the JCPOA - France, Germany, and the UK - collectively known as the E3. 

He said the Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized at its highest levels that in accordance with the fatwa issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei banning the production and use of nuclear weapons, it will not seek to build nuclear weapons and that these weapons have no place in the country's defense doctrine.

The spokesman added that Iran, as a responsible signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has always cooperated properly with this technical and specialized body within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement and has fully adhered to its obligations, and showed goodwill until one year after the illegal and irresponsible withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA.

Khatibzadeh stated that Iran welcomes the intention of the other parties to fully return to fulfilling their obligations, adding that the criterion for Iran is the action of the other party.

Contrary to its stated policy, the new U.S. administration continues to pursue a policy of maximum pressure that led to new sanctions or the re-imposition of previously lifted sanctions, he stated.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman further emphasized that after the necessary time for the formation of the new Iranian administration and conducting necessary reviews, and after consulting with partners and consultations with the coordinator of the JCPOA Joint Commission, it was announced that negotiations to remove sanctions will begin before the end of November.

Regarding what was announced in the statement of the leaders of the four countries about the production of enriched uranium metal and high-enriched uranium, Khatibzadeh clarified that contrary to the statement, production of uranium metal and high-enriched uranium, as previously stated, was for peaceful purposes and had civilian uses, including medical use and refueling of Tehran's research reactor.

It should be noted that such positions that do not correspond with reality will not have constructive results, he said.

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