Tehran says multilateral negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran deal will be fruitful if the United States looks at the issue through the lens of its own national interests rather than those of the Israeli regime.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani told a press conference on Wednesday that the US seems to be weak when it comes to making “an independent political decision” about whether it is willing to return to the deal, four years after it unilaterally walked away.
“If the US administration [of Joe Biden] looks at this issue through the lens of American national interests and not through the lens of the interests of the occupying Zionist regime, the ground will be paved for an agreement in the near future,” Kan’ani said.
More than a year of negotiations – first in Vienna and now in Doha – have not yet led to an agreement on what steps each side needs to take in order to restore the ailing accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The US withdrew from the JCPOA back in 2018 as it unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign targeting the Iranian economy, despite Tehran’s strict compliance with the terms of the accord.
The Vienna talks, which began in April last year, hit a deadlock in March owing to Washington’s insistence on retaining parts of its sanctions against Iran. The Doha talks, however, have led to different interpretations by the parties to the talks.
“Contrary to the claim of the American side that the Doha negotiations were a failure, they opened up a path for the continuation of talks between the different parties of the nuclear agreement,” Kan’ani said, assessing the negotiations as “good.”
He explained that there is no major obstacle to concluding an agreement, except that the American side has to make a serious political decision.
“On the one hand, the US administration expresses its desire to return to the agreement, and on the other hand, it does not want to pay the costs of returning to the agreement,” the Iranian spokesman added.
‘US, Israel failed to form anti-Iran coalition’
In his Wednesday press conference, Kan’ani also pointed to Biden’s recent trip to the region with the agenda of forming an anti-Iran coalition among other objectives, saying both the US and the Israeli regime failed to achieve that goal.
“The Zionist regime attempted to form a regional coalition during that trip to put pressure on Iran,” he said. “In this effort, this regime has failed and the American government has not succeeded either.”
Biden arrived in the Israeli-occupied territories last Wednesday, kicking off a much-anticipated four-day trip to the region. The regional tour also took the US president to Saudi Arabia, the country he once pledged to make “the pariah that they are.”
Since 2020, the US has brokered normalization agreements under the so-called Abraham Accords between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan – with Saudi Arabia expected to be the next.
In Saudi Arabia, Biden attended a summit of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, plus Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq – also known as GCC+3. The summit, which was ostensibly aimed to build an anti-Iran front, failed to garner much support.
A day before the summit, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi stressed that Iraq will not be part of any camp or military alliance, and “will not be a base for threatening any neighboring countries.”
The UAE, a close ally of both Saudi Arabia and the US, also dismissed the idea of forming a NATO-like military alliance in the region.
“We are open to cooperation, but not cooperation targeting any other country in the region and I specifically mention Iran,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE president’s diplomatic adviser, said.
“The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that sees confrontation as a direction,” Gargash added.
After the summit, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan claimed that his country extends a hand of friendship toward Iran.
He also expressed the kingdom’s willingness to reestablish normal relations with the Islamic Republic.
“The messages we received from Arab officials in the region, both directly and indirectly, show that fortunately, the countries of the region are not ready to act against Iran [and in line with] America’s regional policies,” Kan’ani said.
He then added that conditions are now ripe for Iran to organize and host talks to deepen regional cooperation.
He also urged the US to stop meddling in the internal affairs of regional countries, halt its plots of forming fictitious alliances, and refrain from imposing American values on the region.
Regional countries naturally have common interests and views, he said, adding, “They are capable of creating the best conditions for stability and security in the region in the light of regional meetings.”