Iran nuclear chief: Tehran accepts no condition for US return to nuclear deal
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic will accept no condition for the return of the United States to the nuclear deal that Tehran clinched with world powers in 2015 and from which Washington unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in an interview with Entekhab news website on Monday when he was asked about the possible return of the United States to the multilateral nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), following election of Joe Biden as the new US president.
Salehi said the latest remarks from Biden’s advisor, including his National Security Advisor-designate Jake Sullivan, and others show that the Americans are willing to return to the JCPOA, but stressed that such a return must be unconditional.
“What has been said so far by Biden and his advisors indicates that they want to return [to the JCPOA]. If they want to return, we will welcome that, of course, if it is without any precondition,” Tasnim News Agency cited Salehi as saying.
He said that Iranian officials have time and again asserted that if the Americans want to return to the same conditions that existed before current US President Donald Trump left the JCPOA, they will welcome it.
“The latest remarks I have heard from Biden’s advisor, [including] Sullivan and others indicate that, for the time being, they are willing to return [to the JCPOA]... The Islamic Republic has announced unequivocally that we accept no conditions for the return of the United States to the JCPOA. This is out of the question. Now we must wait and see whether they live up to what they say or not.”
The US, under Trump, unleashed a so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran in 2018, when it unilaterally left the JCPOA, reached between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany, and endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Following its withdrawal, Washington targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” economic sanctions in order to bring it to its knees, but the country’s economy keeps humming and is getting back on its feet.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month, the projected winner of the 2020 US election said he remains committed to the principles of the Iran nuclear deal.
Biden also denounced Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA.
EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on December 8 that the United States needs to rejoin the JCPOA, which he praised as a successful diplomatic strategy.
"We need to find a way for the US to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, and for Iran to come back into full compliance. The nuclear deal is still assessed as a landmark of successful diplomacy ... We are proud of it as the biggest success of our diplomatic capacity," Borrell told a GLOBSEC webinar.
Earlier on Monday, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the United States should return to the JCPOA "unconditionally" at an early date and lift sanctions against Iran as well as third-party entities and individuals.
The Chinese foreign minister said US withdrawal from the JCPOA and its so-called "maximum pressure" policy on Iran are the root causes of challenges pertaining to Tehran's nuclear program.
Source: Press TV