Iran: No Change to JCPOA Acceptable
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran reiterated on Monday that it will not accept any change in the contents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which has been approved by the UN, implying that any US demand for a renegotiation of the nuclear deal is rejected outright.
“The JCPOA has been signed between Iran and the Group 5+1 but the US ended its partnership and the nuclear deal is something which has been negotiated for years, has been finalized and concluded and sealed,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters in a video conference today.
He added that Iran has not received any message from any party for renegotiating the deal, but stressed that the agreement should be implemented with no change. “The JCPOA should be implemented within the framework of the JCPOA.”
Khatibzadeh called on all parties to the nuclear deal, specially the Europeans, to implement their undertakings as soon as possible, noting that if the US wants to return to the agreement, it should fully implement the deal.
“This is the only path to keep the nuclear deal,” he added.
US President-elect Joe Biden has recently said in a CNN article that he wants a renegotiation of the contents of the deal before he agrees to rejoin the agreement.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its "so-called maximum pressure policy" has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- Britain, France and Germany -- to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States' withdrawal.
On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
In relevant remarks last Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said that the US should lift all sanctions imposed against his country in the past 3 years before returning to the nuclear deal.
“If the US wants to return, all sanctions which have been imposed in this period of time (past 3 years) should be removed. This is not a precondition for returning to the nuclear deal but it is the nuclear deal itself,” Araqchi said.
He added that of course there are other challenges that Iran and the US should talk about (within the framework of the nuclear deal) and the ground should be paved for the US return to the nuclear deal in a way that will meet the Iranian people’s interests.
“The world is now speaking about one point and the entire world has accepted that the (US) policy of maximum pressure has failed and did not attain any of its goals,” Araqchi said.