Iran Not Interested In Renewing Nuclear Talks with US – Zarif

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic has no interest in engaging in a fresh round of nuclear talks with the United States, over a year after Washington unilaterally withdrew from a previous landmark agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015.

“Iran is not interested in negotiations with the United States to clinch a new nuclear accord,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with Finland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto in Helsinki on Monday, adding, “We had detailed negotiations with the United States and it was not us who left the negotiating table.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Since May, Iran has been suspending some of its commitments under the nuclear deal. Tehran rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.

Earlier this month, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran [AEOI], Behrouz Kamalvandi, said earlier this month that the country would take the third step in scaling back its commitments under the JCPOA “in a matter of a month” if European signatories to the agreement continue to renege on their obligations.

“If the opposite side fails to live up to its commitments in the remaining one month [set as a deadline], the third phase of reducing JCPOA obligations will start as per what the president has previously declared in his capacity as head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council,” Kamalvandi said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said, “There is no agreement that would satisfy all parties. It would suffice if nobody would disagree with an agreement.”

Zarif added that if there ever was going to be any mediation between Iran and the United States over the nuclear deal, “it must primarily focus on how to make Washington resume fulfilling its obligations under the JCPOA.”

He emphasized that the Islamic Republic is always ready for negotiations and interaction, but it is against raising human rights issues to achieve political goals.

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