Top Iran Officials Put Forth New Conditions For Reviving Nuclear Agreement
Iran has put forth new conditions for the United States’ return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, including compensation for the damage inflicted by sanctions and an important change to the accord.
Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the “illogical principle” of the snap-back mechanism must be removed from the nuclear deal in the next possible series of nuclear negotiations.
The snap-back mechanism, put in place in the original nuclear agreement also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was designed to trigger UN sanctions in case Iran violated the accords.
In an interview with the Khamenei’s official website, Valayati said the Supreme Leader “did not like the snap-back mechanism from the beginning” and it was agreed upon “against his wish”.
The Islamic Republic’s demand comes at a time when Western and some regional countries have announced that in case of renegotiations with Iran, its missile program and regional issues such as Iran’s support for militant and militia groups in other countries must also be addressed.
Velayati also reiterated Khamenei’s position about the possible return of the US to the JCPOA: “If they want to return, they must first lift the sanctions.”
He also criticized the behavior of France, Germany, and the UK regarding the implementation of JCPOA and emphasized that Western countries must “compensate our losses, because they sanctioned us illegally with no reason, and we suffered a lot of losses.”
The United States withdrew from the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions, but the European signatories, Germany, France and the UK opposed the US move and did not impose any sanctions. However, Iran demanded that they ignore the sanctions and continue to do business.
Regarding the recent bill passed by Iran’s parliament to stop complying with key commitments to the JCPOA, Velayati said the government is obligated to act accordingly, “of course the government has shown that it follows the parliament.”
The bill directed the government to start enriching uranium to 20 percent, a violation of the JCPOA, and reduce UN nuclear inspections if the United States does not annule its sanctions.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also announced that Khamenei has ordered the government to implement the bill.
Regarding the return of the US to the nuclear deal, Zarif stated: “Mr. Trump also sanctioned 50 Chinese companies in the past four years and our partners suffered losses. These losses must also be compensated.”
“The return of the US to JCPOA without lifting sanctions has no benefit for us, it just serves the US interests,” he added. “We have started production of 20 percent-enriched uranium and we have announced it.”
Previously Rafael Grossi, the director of the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA, announced that Iran is quickly achieving 20 percent uranium enrichment, and there is only several weeks left to revive the JCPOA.