Tehran, international community expect Biden’s “unconditional return” to JCPOA: Iran UN envoy

Tehran, IRNA – Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said in an exclusive interview with IRNA that both Iran and the international community expect the next US administration to unconditionally go back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which President Donald Trump withdrew from on 8 May, 2018.

He made the remarks when talking to IRNA English desk here on Wednesday.

Commenting on Iran's plans for the JCPOA after Joe Biden takes office as the next US president soon, he said: “We have heard from the Biden team a number of positive remarks regarding the JCPOA and the return of the United States to its obligations based on it.”

He further said that "it's too early to judge exactly what the next dwellers of the White House will do."

“We have to wait until President Biden comes to office and announces his position with regard to the JCPOA and the implementation of the deal.”

Saying that "Iran is not in a rush", he added, “We have to give him time to express his position on this [issue].”

The envoy went on to say that what is important for Iran is “the actual implementation of what the United States has agreed to do based on the nuclear agreement.”

"It is no news to anyone that the US has been in violation of its obligations since the very beginning of the implementation day of the JCPOA both under President Barack Obama and President Trump, which culminated in the US withdrawal from the UNSC-endorsed deal in 2018, which was a total and clear violation of international law, international regulations, and UNSCR-2231," Takht Ravanchi noted.  

“So what is important for Iran and the whole international community is that the US is in violation and is obliged to go back to the full implementation of the JCPOA,” which is “an important element” in Tehran’s calculations and that’s why “we have to wait,” Iran’s UN envoy said

Takht Ravanchi reiterated that "Iran will wait until the next US president is in office and makes his move," then “will act accordingly.”

“The whole international community expects the United States to live up to its commitments and live up to its promises,” he noticed.

The shared view of the whole international community is that “no preconditions should be attached to the US return to the JCPOA,” he said, adding that "a narrow number of countries have been trying for many years to sabotage the nuclear agreement even before the conclusion of the agreement."

“They are using every influence they have in order to prevent President Biden from joining the JCPOA.”

Answering a question whether Iran is ready for any suggestion of renegotiating the nuclear deal, he said, “Not at all. This is totally out of question.”

Stressing that "Iran has on numerous occasions said that the JCPOA is a deal based on a give-and-take process, so whenever one party of the deal decides that they could have won more, they should have in mind that “the other side also has the same feeling,” he said that "the JCPOA was a give-and-take process and since the agreement was concluded, “this Pandora’s box” should not be allowed to be opened because that will be a very dangerous situation.”

“Therefore, we are not ready (for that) and believe that it is not in the interest of anybody to allow the opening up of the negotiations or opening up the nuclear file.” 

Regarding the future of the JCPOA, he said that the nuclear deal is “not in a good shape” and that is due to "US non-implementation of the accord."

“We have expressed our dismay over the non-implementation of the JCPOA by European partners within JCPOA,” the envoy went on to stress.

“So it is very difficult to predict what will happen to the JCPOA in the future. We hope that we keep it in place. This is what you have been doing for the last five six years even we waited for a year after Trump withdrew from the JCPOA. But we hope that the JCPOA can survive.”

“Although what we have been doing is based on the letter and the spirit of JCPOA, we have said on numerous occasions that if the United States is prepared to go back to the unconditional full implementation of the JCPOA, we will do the same and in that case, the JCPOA will be in a much better situation that's what we have it today.”

Elaborating the meaning of what he said about Iran not being in a hurry, he commented that Iran’s position is that they have to return to the JCPOA obligations, which is “very simple” and very straightforward”.

He added that the US Sanctions have undoubtedly created problems for Iran and its people, but “We have been doing certain things domestically in order to reduce the economic pressure and day after day, it seems that while we are under economic pressure, we are managing somehow to cope with the current situation.”

“So from our side, we are doing the things that need to be done, both domestically and internationally. At the same time, we will wait to see what course of action the US is going to take and as I said, we will act accordingly. And we will decide what course of action we need to take after knowing what exactly the new administration is going to do in Washington.”

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