Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Iran's Zarif: Missile, Regional Issues Not Part of Nuclear Agreement

Wed 20 Jan 2021 | 03:13 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed that the missile and regional issues were not and will not be part of the nuclear agreement. He denied that Tehran had any talks with the new US administration.

In press statements, Zarif said: "We accepted in the nuclear agreement the continuation of the arms embargo on Iran for five years and on missiles for ten years."

Zarif added: "Now is not the time to demand negotiations over Iran's regional role, and U.S. , France and the rest of the Western countries are the ones who set fires in the region and turned it into a store of gunpowder."

He stressed that "what is important now is that all parties must return to the nuclear agreement."

Zarif explained that "Biden's duty is to cancel the sanctions and then Tehran will return to the nuclear agreement." "The ball is in the court of the United States and the new American administration must fulfill its obligations and not blackmail anyone," he added.

He went on saying that the Biden administration should learn from the lessons of Trump's past years, and Biden must choose either to pursue Trump's failed policy or pursue another path.

Zarif confirmed that his aide Abbas Araghchi did not hold any talks with the new US administration, adding that "Washington's return to the nuclear agreement does not require new negotiations."

Zarif said that the Europeans were unable to do the simplest thing to preserve the nuclear deal, and that the "Instex" financial mechanism had not succeeded.

Zarif also accused the United Nations of failing to receive Tehran's money to pay its participation debts due to US sanctions.

Zarif denied that there had been a meeting between the US President-elect Joe Biden’s team and Iran’s representative to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi.

Tehran`s Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee dismissed media claims that US President-elect Joe Biden’s team has reached out to Tehran. He stressed that negotiations are meaningless without Washington’s full implementation of nuclear deal undertakings.

“We have not received any message from Mr. Biden’s team,” Rabiyee told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.

He added that negotiations are pointless until Tehran will be assured that the US fully fulfills its legal responsibilities while returning to its nuclear deal undertakings unconditionally.

“Our focus now is on the full revival of the nuclear deal by all parties to the agreement and we expect the new US administration to focus on gaining Iran’s trust through the full and immediate implementation of all its undertakings. The US government should first implement its undertakings under the nuclear deal and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and this is the only way forward for the new US administration,” Rabiyee said.

“This reality will not change that the policy of maximum pressure on the Iranian people has turned into a lasting scandal in history; today, the US accountability and respect for international laws and norms is a global demand. The new US administration should not make up for the legacy and, in fact, the stigma left by the previous administration selectively,” he added.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Envoy and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi underlined that if Biden decides to return to the nuclear deal, Washington should comply with all its undertakings in exact accordance with the internationally-endorsed agreement.

“We make a decision and take reciprocal action considering Biden’s moves vis a vis the nuclear deal. We have repeatedly demanded the US to return to the nuclear deal and this return should be complete and without preconditions, that is to say, no issue related or unrelated to the nuclear deal should be put forward for discussion,” Takht Ravanchi said.

“It should only be clear that the US international undertakings cannot be half-fulfilled. If they claim to return to the nuclear deal, this return should be accompanied by the full implementation of their undertakings with no hesitation or controversy,” he added.

On his part, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called on Joe Biden to return to the 2015 nuclear deal and lift sanctions imposed on Tehran by Donald Trump's administration.

Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting Wednesday, Rouhani said the ball was "in the US court now."

"If Washington returns to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, we will also fully respect our commitments under the pact," Rouhani  said, adding in reference to Trump that "a tyrant's era came to an end and today is the final day of his ominous reign."