Up to US to take first step by lifting bans, rejoining JCPOA: Iran

Iran’s UN ambassador says the ball is America’s court regarding the nuclear agreement that it abandoned in 2018, adding that Tehran is waiting for the new US administration to take the first step to lift the unlawful sanctions and then rejoin the 2015 multilateral accord.

In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Tehran was not prepared to offer goodwill gestures or confidence-building measures until Washington removed its sanctions and returned to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“It’s up to the US to decide what course of action to take. We’re not in a hurry,” he said.

In 2015, Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — signed the JCPOA which was ratified in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

However, the US under former president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the deal.

The Trump administration also launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures.

As the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain under US pressure, Iran began in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.

New US President Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the accord, which was inked when he was vice president, if the Islamic Republic returns to compliance.

Citing Biden’s statements, Takht-Ravanchi said Iran wanted to see the new US president make good on his promises and if he did, Tehran would be ready to once again abide by the terms of the JCPOA.

“The ball is in the US court,” he said. “It is totally up to the new administration. So as soon as they implement their obligations, Iran has said on numerous occasions that Iran will return to the full implementation of its undertakings.”