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Iran FM: US should never forget Trump’s ‘maximum failure’, take 1st step on JCPOA

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for his first press briefing at the State Department in Washington, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s foreign minister has reacted to the latest remarks by his American counterpart, Antony Blinken, on the landmark nuclear deal that Iran clinched with six world powers back in 2015, telling him that due to its various violations of the deal, it is the United States that must take the first step to prove its commitment to the accord.

On Wednesday, the US secretary of state noted that his country will only return to the Iran nuclear deal once Tehran meets its commitments.

“Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts. And it would take some time, should it make the decision to do so, for it to come back into compliance and time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations,” Blinken claimed during a news conference, adding, “We’re not there yet, to say the least.”

In response, Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Thursday that the US "violated" the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, "blocked food/medicine to Iranians" and "punished adherence" to UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the accord, whereas Iran "abided by JCPOA" and "only took foreseen remedial measures."

"Now, who should take 1st step? Never forget Trump's maximum failure," he added.

Reality check for @SecBlinken:
The US
-violated JCPOA
-blocked food/medicine to Iranians
-punished adherence to UNSCR 2231
Throughout that sordid mess, Iran
-abided by JCPOA
-only took foreseen remedial measures
Now, who should take 1st step?
Never forget Trump's maximum failure.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 28, 2021

Iran's UN envoy: Window closing to US

Meanwhile, Iran’s permanent ambassador to the UN also responded to Blinken’s remarks, warning the Biden administration it “must act quickly” to return to the JCPOA “because the window is closing” on Tehran’s deadline for Washington to lift the sanctions.

“The party that needs to change course is the United States, and not Iran,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi said on Thursday in remarks to USA TODAY.

During the four years when Donald Trump was in office, the JCPOA withstood brutal attacks by the Republican president’s administration, but it survived anyway. Trump intensified his efforts to kill the deal by pulling the US out of it in May 2018, reimposing the sanctions that were lifted under the deal and adding new ones, thus escalating tensions with the Islamic Republic.

For its parts, Iran patiently waited for a year to see if the other signatories to the deal – the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia – could protect its interests as promised under the historic accord. As the Europeans failed to do so, however, Tehran announced reduction of its commitments under the JCPOA exactly a year after the US withdrawal.

The prospects of renewed endeavors to lift the sanctions and subsequently save the JCPOA were raised after Joe Biden defeated Trump in the November election to sit at the White House. He was sworn in on January 20.

Tehran stresses nothing new has happened with regard to the 2015 nuclear agreement, saying it is the US that should take the first step by lifting the sanctions as it was the one who quit the agreement and then Iran will return to its commitments enshrined in the accord.

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