Feb 16, 2021, 9:49 AM
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Zarif urges Japan not to implement US illegal decisions
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Tehran, Feb 16, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Japan to not implement the United States illegal decisions.

In an interview held on Sunday with Japan's Kyodo News, Zarif expressed hope that Tokyo and European Union would persuade the new US President Joe Biden to lift anti-Iran sanctions.

In regard to Biden's remarks made during his election campaign that he is willing to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from which the former US president Donald Trump withdrew unilaterally, Iranian officials have stated repeatedly that US should take first step by lifting the sanctions.

"We expect Japan to act as a friend, particularly when it comes to international law," Kyodo News quoted Zarif as saying.
"Since the United States is violating international law, the best role that Japan can play is to show Americans that Japan will not implement their illegal decisions," the foreign minister said according to Kyodo.

Further, Zarif called for unfreezing Iranian assets blocked in the Japanese banks due to the US sanctions.

As the foreign minister noted, Iran's frozen assets in Japan and South Korea are totally about ten billion dollars.

Zarif also underlined EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's responsibility to arrange Washington's return to comply with the JCPOA.

Zarif rejected direct talks with Biden's administration till the end is achieved.

It is clear that this is the US which should take first step, Zarif said.

"Mr. Borrell can specify the time frame in consultation with Iran and the United States. It is clear the United States has to take steps first.

"When Washington takes its steps, and we see the outcome, we can immediately reciprocate the US easing sanctions by reversal of the reduced commitments to JCPOA, and it is up to Borrell to choreograph these steps," the foreign minister said while underlining that the nuclear deal cannot be renegotiated.

Then, he warned of closing the window of opportunity soon as Iran's Parliament has approved a law according to which inspection has to end as of February 21.

In January, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said at his weekly press briefing that Majlis (Parliament) strategic laws are completely clear.

If the other side is not loyal to its commitments, the commitments beyond the IAEA Safeguards will end, but it does not mean that the IAEA inspectors will be expelled, Khatibzadeh stated.

About the Majlis law to opt out of the voluntary Additional Protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Zarif said it has been made to law and has to be implemented.

When the window closes, Iran will enrich further uranium and promote nuclear development.

On the first anniversary of the US 2018 exit from the deal, Iran started reducing its commitments from the JCPOA, step-by-step, and based on Articles 26 and 36, in May 2019.

Meanwhile, Iran will come back to commitments as soon as the other side does so, according to Iranian officials.
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