E3 Urged to Correct Own Behavior Before Making Demands

Europe expects Iran to place curbs not only on its nuclear activities, but also on its missile program and regional policies under a “nuclear agreement plus”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the three European powers to correct their own wrongful conduct before setting limits for Iran’s activities. 
He addressed his tweet at German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who recently said in an interview with Spiegel magazine that Europe expects Iran to place curbs not only on its nuclear activities, but also on its missile program and regional policies. 
Iran had already agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
The United States, however, quit the accord unilaterally in 2018 and reimposed tough sanction on Tehran, arguing that the agreement was deficient and failed to include other areas of Western concern. In doing so, it also violated the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the deal. 
France, Britain and Germany said they remained committed, but did little to protect those economic interests. 
Iran, therefore, responded by taking reversible steps beyond JCPOA limits until it can enjoy the sanctions lifting benefits again.  
US President-elect Joe Biden has now vowed to rejoin the deal if Iran resumed strict compliance, but has also called for talks to “strengthen and extend” the agreement. 
Maas also said in his interview that “a return to the previous agreement will not suffice anyway” and that a kind of “nuclear agreement plus” is needed once the US reenters. 
“We have clear expectations of Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile program that threatens the entire region. Iran also needs to play a different role in the region,” he said. 
He added that he has already coordinated with his French and British counterparts and this is precisely the agreement that they want, “because we distrust Iran”. 
Zarif pointed out the three countries’ own unlawful deeds, listing measures Maas and the E3 should take before speaking about what Iran should do. 
“Stop despicable #CovidApartheid. Honor your obligations under UNSCR2231 & stop violating JCPOA. End YOUR malign behavior in OUR region: $100B arms sales to Persian Gulf & blind support for Israel terror,” he wrote on Twitter. 
He attached a news story about Germany’s decision to include Israel in the European Union’s coronavirus vaccination deal, while leaving Palestinians out. 
The E3 has also refused so far to condemn a recent assassination of an Iranian top nuclear scientist, which is largely blamed on Israel, as an act of terrorism. 
Zarif had earlier said in a conference that JCPOA was negotiated for two years and will not be renegotiated. 
“The timings in JCPOA were subject of negotiation and compromise, and even talk of it is a sign of ill-will,” he had said.
He stressed that Iran might only engage in talks about issues beyond the deal when Western countries end their destructive policies in the Middle East.

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