Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said Tehran fulfilled its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, but the US and the Europeans failed to keep their side of the bargain.
“The Europeans either were unable to or did not want to deliver on their commitments. Of course, the result of both will practically be the same,” he noted.
Araqchi further reiterated Tehran’s demand that Washington lift its sanctions against Iran and rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Iran’s demand is a realistic one, and that is, the US should lift the sanctions and return to the JCPOA,” he said in an interview with the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.
“We held talks in good faith, and implemented the JCPOA in good faith. Now, it is the new US administration’s turn to make up for the mistakes of the previous administration,” Araqchi said.
“It was the US that withdrew from the JCPOA, so it should return to the agreement itself. And in order to rejoin the nuclear deal, the US should [first] lift all sanctions,” he added.
“We stand ready to live up to all of our commitments under the JCOPA provided that the Americans make good on their obligations and lift the sanctions,” the top diplomat said.
Araqchi added Iran has not made any contacts with the new US administration and has no intention to.
“Naturally, we are waiting for them to be installed in their posts and begin work,” he said.
As for whether or not Tehran will be ready to enter into talks with new US President Joe Biden’s envoys, Araqchi said any such negotiations should be within the framework of the JCPOA.
“I think there is still an efficient framework, which is the same framework envisaged in the JCPOA. It was they that left that framework, and can now return to it and resume talks,” he said.
“At the moment, we are not interested in making any direct contacts and we believe the JCPOA is an appropriate framework and that negotiations should take place within the same framework,” the top Iranian official said.
“Even before returning to the JCPOA, the US can return to the framework of talks under the JCPOA in order to restart negotiations,” he said.
Araqchi reiterated that Iran scaled down its commitments under the JCPOA after Europe failed to deliver on its commitments.
“We did not destroy the JCPOA. We saved it by scaling down our obligations and maintaining a balance between signatories to the deal,” the top diplomat noted.
Meanwhile, Araqchi underscored that the JCPOA will not be renegotiated.
“The JCPOA should be implemented to the letter. There is no such thing as ‘The JCPOA Plus’ or any other agreement or any new talks on the deal.,” he said.
Araqchi also noted that Iran’s missile program is not negotiable, either.
However, he explained, security in the Persian Gulf is an issue which could be a subject of talks among regional countries.