US must remove all sanctions to regain JCPOA membership: Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that the United States can neither ascribe statements to participants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal nor have requests regarding the deal, as it has ceased participation to it.

Speaking in his weekly press conference, Khatibzadeh said that the composition of Iran’s negotiating team in the talks to remove sanctions against the Iranian nation was the same as before in terms of legal titles although new people have been appointed to the posts.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri would lead Iran’s negotiating team that also includes representatives from entities relevant to the issue of sanctions, according to Khatibzadeh.

On the statements made by the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that the US would do the same if Iran returned to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the spokesman said that Iran was happy that the Americans repeatedly reaffirmed their intention; and that’s perhaps because they didn’t want to forget that they wanted to remove illegal sanctions imposed by the previous US administration and continued – and even added on – by the current administration.

However, Khatibzadeh said, what is important is the action and whatever has been seen from the current US administration in action has been in contrast with their stated direction.

The US path back to the JCPOA is clear, he noted, adding that they have to accept to reverse their course as the one to be blamed for the current situation with the JCPOA.

Khatibzadeh underlined that the US must effectively remove sanctions against Iran in entirety and more importantly give assurances that no other administration in the US could humiliate the world and international law once again. He was referring to the former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

He said that Deputy Foreign Minister Baqeri would travel to Britain, France, Germany, and probably Spain to discuss regional issues as well as the JCPOA.

On the reports suggesting Ahmad Masoud’s travel to Iran, Khatibzadeh said that travels regarding Afghanistan issue are normally done and Afghan friends in different groups are informed.

He added that last week an Iranian official traveled to Afghanistan to discuss electricity export and Iran’s representative on Afghan affairs was settled in Kabul.

The spokesman also touched on Iran-Saudi Arabia negotiations, saying that the talks were ongoing and any advancement depended on Riyadh;s avoiding media-oriented statements.

The second round of talks will continue if Saudi Arabia shows serious will, he noted, adding that the talks were of bilateral nature and no topic related to a third country like Lebanon was raised to affect the talks.

Khatibzadeh said that Iran’s relationship with Turkey on political, social, economic, and security aspects have been expanding and Iranian official would have high level visits to Turkey soon.

On the ties with the Republic of Azerbaijan, the diplomat said that Iran has always rejected occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the two countries are determined to solve problems and strengthen ties.

He rejected a Chinese reporter’s statement that Iran hasn’t had supportive stances with regard to China, noting that Iranian and Chinese foreign ministers had detailed conversations and Iran has supported China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Beijing has supported Tehran’s position on removing US sanctions against Iran.

The spokesman rejected reports suggesting that Vietnam has summoned Iran’s Ambassador on the Vietnamese oil tanker carrying Iranian oil that was stolen by the US and Iran’s IRGC forces recaptured the tanker.

Iran was in close contact with the Vietnamese government, he noted, adding that normal procedures regarding the tanker were ongoing and there would be no problem as soon as technical issues were solved.

Khatibzadeh again remarked on the talks to revive the JCPOA, saying that the government would accurately execute the Iranian Parliament’s ratified act to stop Additional Protocol as long as the US refuses to lift sanctions against Iran.

If all the participants of the JCPOA were ensured that lifting all sanctions that the US has imposed after withdrawing from the deal was a priority, it can be said that we are on the right track, the diplomat underscored.

Responding to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi saying that Iran nuclear sites inspection was like “flying in a heavily clouded sky”, Khatibzadeh said he would invite Grossi to the clear sky of the IAEA’s charters and laws that have made everything clear.

On the recent cyberattack against Iran’s petrol distribution system, Khatibzadeh warned against such attacks by some countries or regimes, saying that Iran has responded to such attacks and would continue to do so.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has made extensive bilateral agreements with some countries on cybersecurity and is ready to join a collective arrangement on the issue, the spokesman said.


Source: IRNA