Khatibzadeh spoke to Le Monde during his stay in Paris on September 29 reiterating that the US must lift all sanctions it imposed on Iran.
He was also asked about what Iran means by “very soon” when it talks about the restart of the JCPOA negotiations. Khatibzadeh said, “This is what was said the day the new Iranian government came to power. There are two things to take into account.
Iran has considered whether to resume negotiations, and we have come to the conclusion that we will certainly resume them. Then there is a second phase which involves the evaluation of all the negotiations that have already been conducted to clarify all the dimensions, before entering into an active and effective dialogue. As soon as this reassessment takes place, we will not waste an hour before arriving in Vienna.”
He also referred to the West’s claim that it’s concerned about the delay in the resumption of the nuclear talks and their allegation that Iran may “take advantage of it to continue its nuclear program”.
Khatibzadeh said, “I understand your concern. But when President Biden took office, how many days did it take before the Americans got into the talks again? At the time, there was no European desire to revive the negotiations. They kept telling us, ‘Wait, be patient, it won’t be long. The Americans are assessing the situation, they will certainly come to Vienna’.”
Asked whether Tehran will ask for additional measures, particularly the lifting of sanctions, Khatibzadeh said,
“In this case, the United States was the first party that left the nuclear deal, imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, caused suffering for the Iranian people, and caused Iran to suffer billions of dollars in losses”.
He also rejected Europe’s accusations that Iran is violating the JCPOA. Khatibzadeh said Iran has only reduced its commitments under the agreement while it’s fully sticking by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, NPT.
He reiterated that all measures Iran has done are reversible.
Khatibzadeh also spoke of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government, noting that relations between the two countries are strategic. The Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that Iran is not after a permanent base in Syria.
He also described Iran’s relations with Iraq as historical and multi-faceted. Khatibzadeh added that if Iran were not in Iraq, the Daesh terrorists would have captured the city of Erbil.
On the Taliban, Khatibzadeh said it’s too early to speak of the group’s legitimacy and that the world must wait and see if they will keep their word and if they will form a broad-based government.