Onus on US to Revive Nuclear Deal

Onus on US to Revive Nuclear Deal
Onus on US to Revive Nuclear Deal

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it is the United States’ responsibility to help restore the 2015 nuclear deal by honoring the obligations that it violated three years ago.
“Onus is on US, not Iran,” he tweeted on Saturday.
Under its former president, Donald Trump, the US unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018, and restored sweeping sanctions on Tehran, thus violating the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the agreement.
Iran took reciprocal measures a year later by scaling back its commitments, but declared it was ready to return to full compliance as soon as sanctions were lifted.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden is willing to rejoin the deal and negotiations have started in Vienna, Austria, between Iran and the remaining parties, who are holding separate talks with the US, to revive the landmark accord.
Iran demands the full removal of sanctions before it reverses its nuclear steps, arguing that it was the US that first violated JCPOA.
“As we try to revive JCPOA in Vienna, it's necessary to remember how it all started,” Zarif said. “3 years ago today, a disgraced buffoon violated US obligations under JCPOA & UNSCR 2231.”
He added that it is now Biden that has to decide whether US “continues lawlessness or adheres to law”.
His remarks came after Biden said it was unclear how serious Tehran was about talks on the accord.
The Russian envoy also pointed to the anniversary of the US withdrawal on May 8, saying it resulted in a “fiasco”.
“3 years ago today #US withdrew from #JCPOA and started maximum pressure policy. It resulted in undermining the nuclear deal, advancement of the Iranian nuclear program and deterioration in P.Gulf,” Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter.
A possible return of the US to JCPOA is on the agenda of the Vienna talks, but for this to happen, “US needs to come back to full compliance with #JCPOA and UNSC resolution 2231,” he added.

Sense of Urgency

Negotiations in Vienna are in their fourth round and good progress has been made so far, according to participants who agree on the need to expedite the process.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that he was optimistic about talks as there is agreement on the main issues.
"We've reached a point where the Americans and the Europeans are saying openly they have no choice but to lift sanctions and return to the JCPOA, and that almost all main sanctions have been lifted and talks continue on some details," Rouhani said without elaborating.
Deputy Secretary-General of European External Action Service Enrique Mora, who chairs JCPOA’s Joint Commission meetings, said although there is no deadline, he feels a certain “sense of urgency” as coordinator.
“Time is not on our side. Happy to see that all delegations, including Iran and the US, say they share that sense,” he tweeted.
Ulyanov called attention to May 21, when Iran has announced it would restrict monitoring of its nuclear sites, warning of more challenges if negotiations lasted beyond that date.
“There is no deadline, but there is a target date-21 May. Of course, we can continue negotiations after this date, but in such a case uncertainties and risks would be higher,” he said.
In line with its remedial JCPOA measures, Iran announced that it intended to restrict access to its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency as of late February.
However, it reached an understanding with the IAEA to enable continued inspection for another three months in a black-box style, to leave room for diplomacy. The data will be erased if sanctions are not removed by the May 21 deadline, according to the agreement.

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