Friday, February 3, 2023

US says focusing on alleged Iranian weapons supplies to Russia, protests, not JCPOA

The US says Washington intends to focus on “Tehran’s arms deliveries to Russia” and the ongoing demonstrations in Iran and not on resuming talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley revealed in an interview with the Bloomberg.

“Iran is not interested in a deal and we’re focused on other things,” Malley noted.

“Right now we can make a difference in trying to deter and disrupt the provision of weapons to Russia and trying to support the fundamental aspirations of the Iranian people,” the top diplomat stated.

Iranian officials have rejected claims about Tehran’s arms sales to Russia to be used in the ongoing war against Ukraine. They stressed such allegations are aimed at legitimizing the West’s military assistance to Kiev.

While the US doubts Tehran’s interest in renewing the nuclear deal, Malley noted that interaction between the EU and Iran continues and negotiations have not been formally suspended.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has disclosed that Americans are sending messages, stressing that they are “in hurry” to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, while “hypocritically” hoodwinking the Western media that the accord is not a priority for them currently.

The Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was an agreement signed in 2015 by Tehran with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China, during the presidency of Barack Obama. However, Obama’s successor Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA in May 2018 and slapped cruel sanctions on Iran. Joe Biden had vowed to resume talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal and remove the harsh US sanctions. Two years into the presidency, Biden has failed to keep his promise and is now threatening to take military action.

The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April last year, months after Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.

The negotiations remain stalled since August, as Washington continues to insist on its hard-nosed position of not removing all sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic by the previous US administration.

Iran has demanded that the United States provide assurances that it would not leave the JCPOA again before it could reenter the agreement. Washington has refused to give a legally enforceable guarantee, leaving Iranian negotiators suspicious of Washington’s seriousness in the negotiations.

Deadly unrest broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later in hospital.

Iran’s Interior Ministry announced that the enemy waged a hybrid war against the Islamic Republic to weaken national solidarity and hinder the country’s progress, stressing that some 200 people lost their lives in the recent unrest sparked by separatist and terrorist groups since the outbreak in September.

The European Union and some Western countries imposed sanctions on Iran over its approach toward the riots. Iran, in turn, announced retaliatory sanctions against institutions and individuals in the European Union due to their deliberate actions in support of terrorism and terrorist groups during the riots.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has stated that the deadly unrest were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

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