Iran says it will not reopen Iran Deal discussions with Biden admin
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with U.S. President Donald Trump.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a long conversation with the media, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh discussed whether Iran would renegotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran deal, of 2015.
Iran slammed the US for violating the deal and UN Resolution 2231, which enshrines it. America must be held accountable to that, regardless of a new administration coming to power, Tehran said.
The US left the Iran deal in 2018, and Tehran has broken some of its obligations regarding stockpiling enriched nuclear material.
The JCPOA cannot be reopened, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said. Asked about US President-elect Joe Biden and his statements on the campaign trail, Khatibzadeh said Iran does not pay attention to debates, campaigns and think tanks, but rather to what had happened and the protocols of the Iran deal and UN Resolution 2231.
Anything to the contrary about reopening the Iran deal is not something Tehran will consider, he said, adding: “These words are also a sign of simplistic thinking that if one thinks, one can talk about [the deal] and open what has been signed, understood and sealed.”
“Iran has repeatedly stated that [the deal] is something of the past and cannot be reopened by anyone,” Khatibzadeh said. “The United States has violated UNSCR 2231 and has inflicted heavy losses on Iran, [which is] holding the United States responsible for its withdrawal, and Iran is in a position to demand that the United States be held accountable for its violation of international law against the Iranian people.”
Iran says the US has destroyed international norms, and the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign has failed. It says the administration violated or walked away from dozens of international treaties and was very outspoken, “setting examples for the history of international relations of this strange American government that will be analyzed for years in academia.”
“What happened in the United States has a big message for our region, which is that gambling on and buying security from those who think only of blood, weapons and more blood has no effect other than putting your eggs in a basket that is unreliable,” Khatibzadeh said.
This description was meant to allude to countries in the Gulf and their alliance with the US. The region must now turn to Iran for security, a kind of Tehran hegemony, and not rely on Washington, according to the Iranian regime.
“There are some limited neighboring countries that are still thinking about buying security and lobbying [in Washington],” Khatibzadeh said. “Our region is in crisis and has suffered many wounds and shortsighted rulers. The neighboring countries that Iran has reached out to and the neighbors that sought peace in Washington and the occupied territories should return.”
This means that those who worked with Trump on the “Deal of the Century” should return to talks with Iran now.
“The Trump administration has gone in a very wrong direction over the past few years, and the maximum pressure has reached the maximum failure,” he said.
Asked whether Iran had been contacted before or after Biden’s victory, Khatibzadeh told Fars: “No… The government has not come to power yet, and the US government should come to power in January, and then we will make our decisions based on the new conditions and environment.”
He seemed to mock “speculation and media and think tanks.”
Iran is now opening an investigation into the US killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in January. It appears to indicate that some of its own partners or forces were somehow complicit in leaking information. “They must answer to justice and be accountable for the assassination,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Asked about the war between Iran and Israel, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said: “Israeli officials are very war-loving and want to do it with the blood of American soldiers.”
Iran claims that Israel pushes “Iranophobia.”
Ultimately, Khatibzadeh circled back to accuse the US of breaking UN Resolution 2231 and damaging Iran.
The US needs to take “legal responsibility,” he said, “and any government that wants to change course must pay attention to the facts… We in the UN Security Council have various obligations, the most important of which has been the lifting of sanctions, and the United States directly prevented this... after the extraterritorial sanctions, the European parties were unable to fulfill their obligations.”
Iran is paying attention to foreign actions.
“The path of Iran’s national interests is a path that we are taking seriously, and all our energy is spent on preserving the national interests and the interests of the people,” Khatibzadeh said. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has one of its inherent duties to expand Iran’s relations with other countries. Yesterday’s government directive emphasized this. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iranian embassies abroad have a facilitating role, and we are seriously pursuing this role.”
“Maximum US pressure has not failed on its own, and the failure of this policy is the achievement of the youth, the private sector and anonymous Iranians around the world who helped to defeat this policy,” he said. “Our economy is becoming a people’s economy.”
This “popular economy” cannot be sanctioned, Iran says.
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