Jan 12, 2021, 12:00 PM
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Iran’s expectations from Biden within JCPOA framework

Tehran, Jan 12, IRNA – Iran’s expectations from the upcoming US administration within commitments of Joint Comprehensive Pare of Action (JCPOA) are quite clear: termination of entire sanctions and paying fine for the losses that Iran has suffered from due to President Donald Trump’s unilateral US exit from JCPOA.

If these two important steps are taken by the White House, as proof for the United States goodwill, there will also be hopes for both the revival of the JCPOA and moving towards the improvement of Tehran-Washington's troubled relations.

President-elect Joe Biden has been repeatedly speaking about the US return to the nuclear agreement with Iran; the agreement that Trump turned his back to it in 2018, when the anti-Iranian sanctions imposed by the US speedily began and then accelerated with full speed to become the most severe sanctions in world history.

Yet, Biden whose indications on his will to return the US to JCPOA started during his long presidential campaign has still not retreated from that decision now that he is only a few steps away from entering the White House.

Meanwhile, both the US Congress and Senate, particularly the Congress, have almost unanimously supported Biden’s will to rejoin the US in the nuclear agreement with Iran. For instance, in the last week of Dec, 2020, 150 Congress representatives in a letter addressed to president-elect Biden supported his intention to return their country to JCPOA.

 In that letter the Congress representatives have welcomed the decision, arguing that it will meanwhile contribute to the revival of the US foreign diplomacy. “We have agreed with you on the point that diplomacy is the best way to halt, or reverse the Iranian nuclear program, decrease tensions in the (Middle East) region, and facilitate the re-involvement of our country in international politics and decision-making,” they wrote.

Dual demands of sanctions termination, loss remuneration, quite logical, judicious

The US return to the JCPOA is just one side of the issue, since what really matters for Iran is the dual demands of termination of the entire sanctions and remuneration for the imposed losses due to the US exit from JCPOA.

A short while ago President Hassan Ruhani reiterated, “Our policy is crystal-clear; the Islamic Republic of Iran, as we have repeatedly emphasized, accepts commitments versus commitments, détente versus détente, respect versus respect, and acceptance of international commitments versus international commitments. If the future US rulers have the will for such interactions, I believe solving the problems is very easy.”

The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, too, has recently emphasized, “They say America will return to JCPOA. Whether it will return to it or not, we are neither hurried about it nor insisting that it should do so. Our concern is not the US return to JCPOA. Our logical and rational demand is the termination of sanction.”

The leader also spoke about the need for America’s compensation for the losses it has inflicted, stressing, “There is also the losses issue, that will be pursued in later phases.”

Regarding the termination of sanctions, the issue is relatively clear and Biden must while lifting the major anti-Iranian sanctions that were imposed by the Trump administration in three phases, also terminate the sanctions against the Iranian officials, and those against the Iranian economic and non-economic centers, which are still renewed once ever few weeks resorting to various excuses.

Beyond doubt, the US sanctions have inflicted noteworthy losses against the Iranian nation, our economy and trade, and for instance only in case of the Iranian oil exports case, as the White House itself has announced in a report that the maximum pressure US policy’s inflicted economic losses against Iran is quite immense.

The US Secretary of State, too, said a while ago that the pursued maximum pressure campaign against Iran has inflicted 70 billion dollar losses only in decreasing Iran’s oil exports.

Spectators believe due to the high volume of imposed sanctions and depriving Iran of working with its international trade partners the economic conditions in Iran have moved towards deterioration to a degree that Boden’s return of the US to JCPOA will not help Iran in solving this problem.

Majid Takhte-Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN, said in a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC), held to survey the extent of different countries’ commitment to UNSC Resolution 2231, elaborated on the antagonist moves made by America and the flood of White House sanctions.

“During the course of the past four years, the United States imposed 1,500 sanctions against Iran, which have affected the entire sections of the Iranian economy and annihilated all of Iran’s benefits from the JCPOA. Such sanctions, some of which are expected to further expand till the end of the current US administration are in fact a full-scale war, in which economy has replaced weapons,” said Ravanchi.

Respecting commitments, détente, and rebuilding ties

Commitments versus commitments is a logical demand of Tehran from Biden; it is a basic rule in international politics that was not only ignored by Trump administration against Iran, but also ignored during his tenure with other countries, regional treaties, and international agreements.

The US breaching of its JCPOA commitments took place under such conditions that Iran had always respected its entire commitments, such as yielding the most severe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) surveys. 17 IAEA reports prepared by former IAEA chief Yukiya Amano all confirmed Iran’s full commitment to its JCPOA agreements and the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran and the United States can act in the framework of JCPOA under an atmosphere in which détente versus détente, and mutual respect will be fully observed. Trump’s defeated maximum pressure policy against Iran has by now convinced both the US president-elect Joe Biden and the Europeans that speaking with Iran is only possible with full respect.

As Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif reiterated during the nuclear negotiations, “Never threaten an Iranian because the Iranians do not get scared of any threat.”

Trump’s bulk of sanctions in his maximum pressure campaign against Iran, which even included humanitarian aids, medical items, and vital medicines for special patients, could not convince Iran to abandon its righteous demands and yield to his illogical will.

Now, too, any of Biden administration members’ insistence on JCPOA Plus, will be the continuation of the same defeated policy.

The US return to the JCPOA and revival of the nuclear agreement will bear fruit only if Biden will as a goodwill sign terminate the sanctions as a first step. Only then we can hope that turning the G4+1 into G5+1 will be an effective and lasting move.

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