Friday, February 3, 2023

Iran envoy blames US as root cause for nuclear-related tension

Iran's permanent ambassador to the UN says Washington is at the center of tensions around the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Amir Saeed Iravani added that if the US really seeks the revival of the landmark agreement, it must choose diplomacy over pressure.

Iravani made the remark while addressing a Monday session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the JCPOA and the implementation of the Security Council Resolution 2231, which upholds the deal..

The JCPOA was concluded in July 2015, lifting some of the United States’ draconian sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic making certain voluntary changes to its peaceful nuclear energy program. Upon conclusion, the deal was adopted by the Security Council through its Resolution 2231.

The United States, however, withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 under former President Donald Trump’s signature “maximum pressure” policy. After leaving the deal, Trump returned all the sanctions that the accord had lifted.

“There is no doubt that the JCPOA can only be revived by addressing the root cause of its current situation, which is the US withdrawal from the accord on May 8, 2018,” he stated.

The administration of Trump’s successor Joe Biden had alleged a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake by rejoining the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage and even imposed a slew of its own coercive economic measures against the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian diplomat added, “Pressure, intimidation and confrontation are not solutions [for the revival of the JCPOA] and will get nowhere. If the United States really seeks the revival of the JCPOA, it must rely on diplomacy.”

The United States has retained its obstructive and nonconstructive position throughout many rounds of talks that have been held, mostly in the Austrian capital city of Vienna, in order to examine the potential of the JCPOA’s revival and fresh removal of the American sanctions.

The Biden administration’s approach to the deal and the talks has prompted Iran to criticize Washington for the continuation of Trump’s failed aggressive policies.

In another part of his address, Iravani emphasized Iran’s commitment to dialogue and diplomacy, saying, “We are ready to resume the Vienna talks [on the revival of the JCPOA], to cooperate for achievement of an acceptable solution, and even arrange a [foreign] ministerial meeting as soon as possible to declare the revival of the JCPOA.”

He noted in order for these goals to be achieved, “The United States must show real political resolve and be ready to work toward a satisfactory solution. It must accept to completely fulfill its obligations” under the JCPOA.

The Iranian ambassador stressed that “the ball is now in US court” and it is the United States that must prove itself to be reliable and capable of living up to its promises.

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