Nothing can prevent Tehran from engaging in talks with Washington, but United States must apologies – and provide reimbursements – to Iran for its losses in the 2015 US Iran Nuclear Deal America violated: President Hassan Rouhani has asserted.
Iran demands US to apologise before talks can begin
“We have no problem with talking to the US,” Rouhani declared, in a nationally-broadcast speech on Wednesday. The only condition is that “Washington meets its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologizes and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 pact,” the president said, as quoted by Reuters.
Rouhani made it clear, however, that “these calls for talks with Tehran are just words and lies.” US President Donald Trump has previously offered to negotiate with Iran without any preconditions and to meet with Rouhani in person.
— RadioFarda (@RadioFarda_Eng) June 25, 2020
Washington repeated the offer of “serious talks” this January – but the timing of this couldn’t have been more questionable, as it came on the heels of the death of Qassem Soleimani, a renowned Iranian military leader, in an American missile strike.
Tehran, for its part, has consistently ruled out dealing with Washington under pressure, or trading vital national interests.
Last year, however, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that he pitched a suggestion to the US, under which Iran would permanently accept international inspections of its nuclear program, in return for the lifting of US sanctions.
US sanctions on Iran amid nuclear deal
Following his pattern of being suspicious towards Iran, Trump green-lighted the pullout from the hard-earned nuclear pact in 2018. Shortly after the US formally ceased to be a member, it slapped Iran’s oil trade, finances, investment activities, and other crucial sectors with sweeping penalties under the so-called “maximum policy pressure.”
This week, Washington will try to secure a UN backing for an indefinite extension of an embargo that bans countries from selling or transferring arms to Iran unless approved by the Security Council. In order to pass, their draft resolution requires nine votes in favor and no vetoes from China, Russia, Britain or France – a quartet of countries still adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Wednesday of a return of UN sanctions on Iran if the Security Council fails to extend an arms embargo expiring in October.
The United States has put forward a resolution to extend the embargo on conventional weapons but faces opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China, which stand to win contracts with Tehran.
The five-year ban on selling conventional arms was part of a 2015 resolution in support of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Obama and Kerry, from which President Donald Trump pulled out.
The Trump administration has made the novel case that the United States remains a participant in the nuclear deal — hence able to initiate the snapback of sanctions — as it was mentioned in the 2015 resolution, despite later withdrawing.
Europe refuses to back US sanctions
Europe on Friday toughened its stance on Iran and warned the US against sanctions in the latest bid to stop the unravelling of the international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The decision by Germany, France and Britain to back a UN arms embargo extension on Iran follows growing tensions with Tehran since US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord and introduced new sanctions.
The three European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal said they had reservations about lifting the arms embargo, a blow to Tehran which had been calling for an end to the restrictions.
The joint statement by three European foreign ministers came after the UN nuclear watchdog on Friday also passed a resolution critical of Iran — the first since 2012 — and demanded Tehran allow more inspections of two of its nuclear sites.
But the European nations, who remain committed to the nuclear deal, also said they opposed Washington’s “maximum” pressure tactics with sanctions. “We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences” in the UN Security Council, they said.
Why Iran remains suspicious of Europeans?
While European powers do raise objections to US pressure tactics and keep on rumbling, the fact remains that UK, France and Germany that were signatories to the JCPOA, commonly called US-Iran Nuclear Deal were unable to play any constructive role when Trump Administration unilaterally walked out of the 2015 JCPOA Agreement.
Obama administration had taken almost 8 years in negotiating this complex multinational deal in which Russia, China, UK, France and Germany all played their role. It was considered a landmark deal of Obama Administration working together with the key European countries.
No one, apart from the Trump Administration has been able to come up with any substantive evidence that Iran did anything against the terms and conditions of JCPOA. Israel’s PM, Netanyahu, was against the US-Iran Deal from the beginning. Undoing the deal was an election commitment Israeli lobby extracted out of Trump presidential campaign.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier this month had urged UN Security Council members to oppose a US “conspiracy” to extend the arms embargo.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk
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