Lifting of US Sanctions Only Diplomatic Option Available, Rouhani Tells Johnson

The Iranian president says Washington’s lifting of anti-Iran sanctions and living up to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal is the only diplomatic way to resolve the current standoff.

In a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said this is the only way to settle the issue.

“The clear way to diplomacy is for the US to lift sanctions and make good on its obligations, and there is no other option available,” said the president.

Rouhani underlined Iran’s policy vis-à-vis the JCPOA is “action for action,” adding, “The European sides’ failure to deliver on their commitments under the JCPOA has only led to Iranian people losing trust in Europe and further restricting the diplomatic atmosphere,” President Rouhani said.

“The US government claims it would like to return to and implement the JCPOA, but it has taken no practical measures in that regard so far. Moreover, their return does not need negotiations because they left without negotiations,” said Rouhani.

He noted it is not only Iran which should pay the price for preserving the JCPOA.

“All measures that Iran has adopted so far has been within the JCPOA aimed at striking a balance within the agreement and preserving the deal,” said the president.

He reiterated that sanctions and moves by the US and its allies to keep Iran from gaining access to its financial resources outside Iran further added to the health and medical problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He also denounced the United States as a major violator of the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani touched upon Britain’s long-overdue debts to Iran with regards to purchases of defence equipment.

“While we are seeing that most countries indebted to Iran are either releasing the frozen assets or paying back their debts, it is very strange that no headway has been made with the trend of returning debts to Iran which are more that forty years overdue,” he said.

Rouhani further emphasized that Iran has always wanted to see peace and tranquility established in the region.

The British premier, in turn, presented a report on measures adopted by his country to make all signatories to the JCPOA to deliver on their commitments.

He said the UK and other parties to the JCPOA are interested in preserving the deal.

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Emad Askarieh has worked as a journalist since 2002. The main focus of his work is foreign policy and world diplomacy. He started his career at Iran Front Page Media Group, and is currently serving as the World Editor and the Vice-President for Executive Affairs at the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website.

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