The opposing messages from Iran and the new US administration promise a difficult path for the 2015 nuclear deal.
Tehran, Iran – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani countered signals from the next administration, Joe Biden, saying that “the ball is in Washington’s court”.
The president said in a televised cabinet speech on Wednesday that if the new U.S. government signs on to implement commitments under United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 – which underpins the United Nations nuclear deal ‘Iran – he would see a signature from Iran.
“If they issue an order, they will see an order issued in Iran, no more. If they actually implement their commitments, they must know that there will be an effective implementation of the commitments on this side, ”said Rouhani.
He said Iran expects the new occupants of the White House to try “to remove all the stains of the past four years, that is, if they can be removed.”
“If they show their honesty in action, towards the laws and the resolution they voted for and the commitments they have made, we will naturally also implement all of our commitments.”
Rouhani’s message appears to be at odds with that of Anthony Blinken, Biden’s choice for secretary of state, who said on Tuesday that Washington would resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if Tehran did it first.
Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “we’re a long way from it” and said Biden’s ultimate goal is a deal that would also limit Iran’s missile program and support for regional proxies, which Iran rejected.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018, launching a “maximum pressure” campaign of severe economic sanctions against Iran.
A year later, Iran gradually reduced its commitments under the agreement by storing more low-enriched uranium, boosting uranium enrichment and installing new centrifuges.
But shortly after leading nuclear and military scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in late November in an attack Iran blames on Israel, Iran’s parliament passed a law demanding more violations of the agreement.
Iran has now increased its uranium enrichment to 20% and is installing more advanced centrifuge cascades.
By law, Rouhani’s administration must restrict the access of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to its nuclear sites after February 21 if Biden does not lift sanctions and allows Iran to restart. sell its oil.
In a letter to EU foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned on Tuesday that the nuclear deal was at a “critical juncture”.
“We have seen very worrying developments on the nuclear side as well as new rounds of US sanctions,” he said, adding that they risked undermining diplomatic efforts to restore the nuclear deal.
The Trump administration has imposed several new rounds of sanctions on Iran, the most recent of which came earlier this week since its defeat in the presidential election in November.
Rouhani celebrated the end of Trump’s “malicious rule” on Wednesday.
“The era of a tyrant has come to an end and today is the last day of his ominous reign,” he said. “Someone for whom his four years have brought nothing but injustice and corruption and caused trouble for his own people and the world.”