Rouhani Aide Says All Trump’s Decisions On Iran Must Be Reversed
All that transpired during the presidency of Donald Trump must be reversed, Mahmoud Vaezi, President Hassan Rouhani’s Chief of Staff, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Monday [January 18], presumably referring to suggestions in Washington that the in-coming administration of President-elect Joe Biden set new conditions for a United States return to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, abandoned by Trump in 2018.
“What we have raised is that whatever happened during the Trump administration should return to the pre-Trump era, and we are serious about this,” Vaezi said.
Following his withdrawal from the agreement – the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – Trump imposed draconian sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and financial sector, and introduced hundreds of sanctions against companies and individuals deemed to be assisting Iran. Many of Iran's military and intelligence officials have been sanctioned. Numerous companies connected with the Isalmic Revolution Guard Coups (IRGC) and financial officials of Iraninan banks have also been targeted.
Vaezi told Tasnim, a news agency close to the Revolutionary Guards, that all these sanctions should be removed. Even in its final weeks the Trump administration has extended sanctions, including some tied to ‘terrorism’ and human rights. Biden’s pick as National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, on Saturday criticized the ‘terrorism’ designation of the Houthis – who have received Iran’s support fighting Saudi-backed opponents – as likely to increase humanitarian suffering in Yemen.
But the pre-condition of removing all Trump-era sanctions will pose a problem for the Biden administration, as in many cases there are accusations of assisting terror organization, misrepresentations to US companies and money laundering.
Vaezi added that Iran had clearly said that Tehran expected reciprocity from Biden, and to be clear over US actions before it reciprocated. Asked if Iran’s views had been communicated to the American sides, Vaezi said that while Tehran had had no contacts with Washington, its position has been outlined by the president and the foreign minister. In a reference to parliamentarians who oppose the JCPOA, Vaezi stressed that while they were free to express views, Iran’s positions were the responsibility of the executive power.