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Iran calls on US to prove 'good faith', abandon blame game over JCPOA revival

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)
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani speaks at a press conference. (File photo)

Iran has called on the United States to abandon its blame game over the revival of the 2015 nuclear accord, asserting that Tehran remains a member of the deal, unlike Washington which unilaterally withdrew from it four years ago.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kan’ani said the party that needs to prove its “good faith” in the ongoing talks aimed at restoration of the landmark deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and lifting of sanctions, is the US.

“Iran has been and still remains a JCPOA member," he wrote. "The party that needs to prove ‘good faith’ and ‘seriousness’ to ‘re-enter’ the deal is the US."

He hastened to add that Iran remains "committed to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement", which "guarantees JCPOA-envisioned benefits" for the country while reiterating that the onus lies on the US.

On Monday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the initiative lies with Iran to "come forward to make clear" that it is "ready to engage constructively”, “put aside extraneous issues” and “talk in good faith about the deal that has been on the table for some time.” 

“If Iran were to re-enter the JCPOA, we would do the same,” he said when asked to comment on statements by Iranian officials that the US has to make a political decision to rejoin the agreement.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated draconian sanctions on Iran despite Tehran’s full compliance with its commitments under the accord.

After exercising "strategic patience" for one year, Tehran started to gradually scale back its commitments under the deal in 2019 but maintained that its “remedial measures” were reversible provided the other parties fulfilled their commitments under the multilateral agreement. However, the Islamic Republic never left the JCPOA.

In April last year, Tehran and the world powers started negotiations in Vienna to salvage the deal and lift sanctions on Iran. Despite progress, the US indecisiveness and procrastination caused a stalemate in the talks. 

The Vienna talks hit a deadlock in March owing to Washington’s insistence on retaining parts of its unjust sanctions against Iran. 

Last month, Iran agreed to have indirect talks with the US, mediated by the European Union, in the Qatari capital to pave way for the restoration of the deal. The first round of the talks, however, failed to produce any breakthrough, with Washington continuing to be indecisive. 

“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 told a press conference last Wednesday, assessing the negotiations as “good.”

He further stated that there are no major obstacles to concluding an agreement, except that the American side has to make a serious political decision.

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