US ‘must act quickly’ to rejoin Iran nuclear deal: UN envoy

Iran’s UN ambassador said Tuesday that the new US administration “must act quickly” to return to the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by the former government “because the window is closing” on Tehran’s deadline for Washington to lift economic sanctions.

In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, stated that the Biden administration “must act quickly” before the opportunity to return to the 2015 agreement is no longer an option.

The top Iranian diplomat has indicated that the US needs to take steps now, if it wants to ease relations with Iran, to rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The party that needs to change course is the United States, and not Iran,” said Ravanchi, who helped negotiate the agreement that Trump withdrew from in 2018.

He also said Iran cannot accept a “renegotiation of the nuclear deal.”

Ravanchi said in the interview the UN nuclear inspectors would not be expelled from Iran, but additional access to its nuclear sites it provided on a voluntary basis would be halted.

“We have said time and again that if the US decides to go back to its international commitments and lift all the illegal sanctions against Iran, we will go back to the full implementation of JCPOA, which will benefit all sides,” said Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, in exclusive remarks to USA TODAY.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi wrote in an article in the New Your Time newspaper on Wednesday that there is a window now to restore America’s credibility and bring more stability to the Middle East.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 between Iran and six world states —the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China— and was ratified in the form of Resolution 2231.

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

As the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain and compensate for Washington’s absence, Iran moved in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments.