…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: Zarif is meeting Biden head on, in terms of getting the JCPOA back on its feet. While Biden made a big deal of his being a man of change by announcing the US would rejoin the JCPOA, and after he had gotten all the good press on that, he walked it back, ‘a la Trump’.

He added that some ‘other issues’ would have to be settled first, meaning Iran agreeing to new conditions like its missile programs. So Biden flubbed his JCPOA ‘fix’ debut by pulling a Trump scam, by effectively wanting to renegotiate the deal, a huge mistake of a tactic. The pitch was a Trump one in a Biden mask.

So Zarif has countered with something that is straightforward, by stating that the US cannot step back into the agreement like nothing has happened, when Iran has suffered huge financial damage.

Rather than enter new negotiations, Iran wants to be compensated for the losses it incurred due to the US withdrawal. Such positions are routinely taken in US courts for damages.

I doubt Iran will back off these valid demands. If it did accept them, it would be signaling that anyone that did an agreement with Iran could break it, and yet get back into it later, as nothing had happened.

On the contrary, if Biden wants to pick the plum of the man that unties the Gordian Knot of the Persian Gulf, he will need a plan that does not look like American hegemony in Joe Biden’s sheep clothing. Iran wants what the US would want if the positions were reversed, a real deal that will work for both sides… Jim W. Dean ]

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First published … January 01, 2021

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged US President Joe Biden to end his predecessor’s fruitless pressure policy against Iran and begin the process of rejoining the 2015 nuclear agreement by lifting all unilateral sanctions unconditionally, warning that the “window of opportunity will not be open” for the new White House team forever.

In an op-ed article published Friday by American magazine Foreign Affairs, Zarif said former US President Donald Trump failed to make Iran give in to his demands through his “maximum pressure” campaign that ensured Washington’s withdrawal in May 2018 from the nuclear accord.

The agreement was inked in 2015 between Tehran and six major world states — the US, France, Britain, Germany, China, and Russia — and was later endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

After abandoning the deal, Washington re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions lifted by the accord and launched a push to fully destroy the agreement by trying to dissuade the remaining signatories from staying in the agreement and threatening sanctions against any party that refuses to cut business ties with Tehran in defiance of American sanctions.

Washington’s pressure successfully blocked the European co-signatories from fulfilling their contractual obligations, a situation that prompted Tehran to retaliate and suspend parts of its own commitments under Article 36 of the deal, formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump, Zarif wrote, “tried to torpedo a major multilateral diplomatic achievement and then initiated a campaign of blunt economic warfare targeting the Iranian people, in effect punishing Iran for its adherence to an UN-endorsed agreement.”

Zarif added that Trump’s pressure policy did create certain hardships for the Iranian nation, “but these hardships have not forced us to surrender, nor have they collapsed our economy or changed our strategic calculus.”

In fact, the hostile campaign has not only failed but has even produced “the exact opposite of its intended result” since it promoted the Islamic Republic to largely strengthen its capabilities in the nuclear industry.

‘A fundamental choice to make’

“The new administration in Washington has a fundamental choice to make. It can embrace the failed policies of the Trump administration and continue down the path of disdain for international cooperation and international law,” Zarid said. “Or the new administration can shed the failed assumptions of the past and seek to promote peace and comity in the region.”

The top Iranian diplomat advised Biden to take the second option and “choose a better path by ending Trump’s failed policy of “maximum pressure” and returning to the deal his predecessor abandoned.”

Zarif, however, said Washington can return to the deal if it shows it has the “genuine political will” to be a “real partner in collective efforts.”

“International agreements are not revolving doors, after all, and it is not an automatic right to return to a negotiated agreement—and enjoy its privileges—after one simply leaves on a whim,” he wrote.

The Biden administration should begin by “unconditionally removing, with full effect, all sanctions imposed, reimposed, or relabeled since Trump took office…The remaining signatories to the deal would then decide whether the United States should be allowed to reclaim the seat at the table that it abandoned in 2018,” he added.

“Doing so will open new possibilities for peace and stability in our region,” he said.

Zarif assured that Iran would reverse all the remedial measures it has taken after Washington’s exit from the JCPOA when the sanctions are lifted.

 “The window of opportunity for the new US administration will not be open forever. The initiative squarely rests with Washington. The Biden administration’s first step ought to be to seek to redress—rather than attempt to exploit—Trump’s dangerous legacy of maximum failure,” the Iranian minister said.

‘Regional nations, not Westerns, must solve Mideast issues’

Zarif also warned the US and its European allies in the deal against trying to alter the “painstakingly negotiated terms” and include irrelevant subjects, including Iran’s national defense program and regional activities, in the nuclear deal.

“There cannot be any renegotiations. The United States cannot insist that “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable” and expect to have its way with Iran,” he said.

The Iranian foreign minister says the Islamic Republic always stands ready for talks on the problems gripping the Middle East, but those negotiations should take place among the regional nations, free from Western interference.

“The peoples of the region, not outsiders, must resolve these issues. Neither the United States nor its European allies have the prerogative to lead or sponsor future talks,” he wrote.

Zarif said Iran has put forward several initiatives for peace in the region, the latest of which —the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) — was submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2019.

“Westerners, and especially Americans, need to modify their understanding of Iran and the region if they are to avoid the mistakes they have made chronically in the past. They must observe and respect the sensitivities of the peoples of the region, particularly regarding their national dignity, independence, and achievements,” according to Zarif.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Unless Iranian officials have changed their minds, this so-called revival is DOA. Biden has already said it will include Israel and Arab states…gee, the same proposal made by Tramp. Iran has already said they will NOT renegotiate JCPOA, that they will only rejoin the previous agreement. Israel is not really interested Iranian nukes, which do not exist(that was just a faux hot button issue), they want to get rid of their missile forces. The missile forces that have kept Israel and the US at arms length. Ain’t gonna happen. Obama refused to include them and that was the source of friction between him and Nutsack…well, that and refusing to attack Iran for them. The same excuse offered for the assassination of Soleimani, to prevent Israel attacking Iran. Personally I don’t think Israel would have gone it alone, unless they were confident that Trump would back them up. So Trump took the only way out for him after all his Israel supporting rhetoric. Here’s the new boss, same as the old boss.

  2. Jim, the JCPOA only was a big show from the beginning as same as Netanyahu selling the Iran threat to his inside front and international media. The low profile and almost unknown Bibi’s brother Iddo Netanyahu who has permanent residence on US, Iran and the zionist entity, he has been the secret communication channel between the 3 players from many time. Rohani he was one who managed half of the Eilat-Askhelon pipeline something of what is prohibited any publication on this subject with a sentence of 15 years in prison in zionist entity. Also in the 80’s Rohani was the first link with the zionist in the Iran-Contra affair.

    • During Iran-Iraq war Rohani was a member of parliament and alongside Rafsanjani in 1986 they boths organised the Iran-Contra arms traffic offering the release of US hostages in Lebanon in exchange for US weapons and was the zionist entity the middleman.

    • The Hasbara Cyber Terrorist is a day late and a Shekell short!
      VT readers know the Truth, VT published an article a long time ago called
      “Diary of an Israeli Shill”
      It detailed how Hasbara Cyber Terrorists
      are the great pretenders.
      Worshippers of Beezlub, the lying devil.

    • Sarge, there is no hasbara, only a different point of view, in a short time we will see who had right and who was wrong, just I have to sit with my popcorn and wait as the facts left you asking what happened… 🙂

  3. It would be a gift from God if USA could have a Foreign Minister like ZARIF. That man’s patience is primordial.

    Biden needs to be educated about Iran and the Middle East. Seriously. He has terrible, terrible policies and I can only assume that he just doesn’t understand.

    The recent incursion into my beloved Syria is just unforgivable.

    • Syria’s “civil war” was planned by the Israeli firsters of W Bush. Actually Syria was under the radar of Likud for two decades before that.
      But lifting the sanctions on Iran and disengaging from Yemen will put Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of the biggest terrorist regimes in the region, in a defensive position just like the years of Obama when Biden was around.
      But Biden will go beyond that. And hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes again.