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US lawlessness, Europe inaction responsible for status quo surrounding JCPOA: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian

Iran’s foreign minister says the US’s illegal measures and European countries’ inaction on the American lawlessness are responsible for the current unfavorable situation that surrounds the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a phone call with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday, during which the officials discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues.

The agreement, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), came about between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the United States, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany -- in Vienna that year. It lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic’s enacting some voluntary restrictions on its peaceful nuclear energy program.

However, the US left the JCPOA under President Donald Trump in 2018 and reimposed the sanctions as part of its policy of “maximum pressure” targeting the Islamic Republic. Its European allies in the agreement, namely the UK, France, and Germany, bowed down to the American pressure and started to toe the sanctions line as closely as possible.

Amir-Abdollahian asserted that the US, through its departure from the agreement, and its resumption of the oppressive sanctions against “the great Iranian nation,” and the European side due to its refusal to take action on the American violations had brought about the status quo concerning the agreement.

“Unfortunately, the current American ruling structure, despite its previous claims, is minded to use the illegal sanctions as instruments of pressure on the Islamic Republic,” the top Iranian diplomat said.

“It, however, should know this that we do not surrender in the face of such pressures,” he said, and also advised that Europe start playing “a constructive role” by adopting “prudent positions” in the area.

The Iranian foreign minister, therefore, urged both to fully resume their commitments under the agreement.

“Based on this, the Islamic Republic would be prepared to take part in negotiations that would bring along tangible results towards the provision of the Iranian nations' rights and interests.”

Foreign intervention in region

Meanwhile, the senior Iranian diplomat said foreign powers’ interventionist policies are responsible for the crises that have engulfed the region.

The current Iranian government “prioritizes relations with the country’s neighbors,” he said, adding, “There is an indigenous and intra-regional solution to regional stability, and any interventionist and irresponsible behavior could stoke further disturbance throughout the region.”

Le Drian, for his part, congratulated Amir-Abdollahian on the occasion of the latter’s assumption of his ministerial duties.

He expressed hoped that negotiations between Tehran and Paris would lead to the resumption and fruition of the nuclear talks as well as reinforcement of stability and security in the region.

The senior diplomats also laid emphasis on the creation of an all-inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The two sides agreed to continue their talks concerning the issues that were discussed during the conversation.

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