Talks, threats mutually exclusive: Iran’s UN envoy

Tasnim – Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi ruled out the possibility of negotiations with the US, noting that talks and threats cannot go together.

“They (Americans) left the negotiating table while the other members of the international community were talking to Iran about the nuclear issue. All of a sudden, the US decided to withdraw and the whole problem, the whole mess that we are seeing around ourselves is geared to that decision,” Takht Ravanchi told Fareed Zakaria’s GPS aired by CNN on Sunday night.

“You compare the situation in early 2018 – before US withdrawal from the nuclear deal – to what we have today: it’s a totally different story. So all the things started with that decision. In order to make things going back to normal, that decision has to be reversed,” he noted.

“Talks and threats are mutually exclusive. We cannot start a dialogue with somebody while he/she is trying to intimidate and frighten you, is trying to impose sanctions on you. Coercion and intimidation do not go well with dialogue.”

Therefore, he added, “as long as threats are there, as long as intimidation and coercion are there, I think we do not consider any offer of dialogue as a genuine and production one.”

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, a 159-page nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) came into force in January 2016.

Following the US withdrawal, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

However, the EU’s failure to ensure Iran’s economic interests forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments under JCPOA on May 8, 2019.

Iran has also set a 60-day deadline for the remaining JCPOA parties to fulfill their undertakings.