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Iran’s President Raeisi: We will not leave our country’s economy in limbo over JCPOA talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in the capital, Tehran, on February 7, 2022. (Photo by

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says the Iranian administration will not let the country’s economy remain in limbo while waiting for the result of the ongoing negotiations in the Austrian capital for the revival of the 2015 landmark deal.

Raeisi made the remarks in a Monday meeting with visiting Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in Tehran.

Referring to Iran’s historically cordial ties with Finland, Raeisi said relations between the two countries have been consistently friendly following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, “but Finland’s relations with other countries must not be affected by foreign parties.”

Elaborating on negotiations among the remaining members of the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), for the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions, Raeisi said, “We have announced that if sanctions are removed, the way will be paved for an agreement. Iran has proven that it lives up to its commitments, but we will not leave our country’s economy in limbo waiting for the results of the JCPOA [talks].”

Raeisi underlined, “It was the Americans that violated the JCPOA and those who did not fulfill their obligations were the Europeans, while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified Iran's peaceful measures in numerous reports.”

In another part of his remarks, Iran's president pointed to the US' acknowledgment of the "disgraceful failure" of the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, Raeisi said, "We hope that European countries will choose the path of independence from American domination, because the United States is not a reliable country."

Referring to his administration’s approach to developing relations with neighboring countries, the Iranian president said, “We seek good relations with all countries in the region and we will continue this policy.

"Wherever there is a problem in our region, it is due to interference by foreigners," Iran's president said.

Haavisto, for his part, pointed to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and Finland, saying, "We attach great importance to [relations with] Iran and there is a lot of potential to increase joint cooperation between the two countries."

Expressing dissatisfaction with the US policy toward the 2015 Iran deal, the top Finnish diplomat said, "It is unfortunate that the Americans have given up their commitments under the JCPOA.”

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.

The administration of US President Joe Biden says it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for 10 months in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.

The eighth round of the talks has been put on pause as diplomats returned to their capitals for consultations. The talks will resume on Tuesday.

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