FM Zarif says Iran would re-commit to nuclear deal if US returns

FM Zarif says Iran would re-commit to nuclear deal if US returns
FM Zarif said he would welcome the US' return to the nuclear deal.
2 min read
18 November, 2020
Zarif said Iran will recommit to the nuclear deal [Getty]

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran would welcome the US' return to a nuclear deal if president-elect Joe Biden pursues such a move.

"We are ready to discuss how the United States can re-enter the accord," Zarif said, according to Reuters

"The situation will improve in the next few months. Biden can lift all sanctions with three executive orders."

It follows previous comments from Biden that if elected president he would re-commit the US to a nuclear deal with Iran.

President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal - also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - in 2018, issuing tough sanctions on Tehran.

Zarif said Biden could easily bring the US back into the deal with three executive orders, which would ultimately result in sanctions relief for Iran but commit Tehran to curbs on its nuclear programme.

"If Mr. Biden is willing to fulfil US commitments, we too can immediately return to our full commitments in the accord... and negotiations are possible within the framework of the P5+1," Zarif said in the interview which was posted on a government newspaper site.

Many analysts believe that the US' potential return to the nuclear deal would not be so straight-cut, given the mutual mistrust that have arisen between the two sides over the past four years.

Trump has applied a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran, as well as taken out the country's top-commander, Qasem Soleimani, in air strikes in Iraq in January.

Iran has also ramped up its missile programme and started to enrich uranium to much higher levels than the nuclear deal allows.

Many Iranian leaders have also demanded damages from the US for sanctions, before it re-commits to the conditions of the nuclear deal.

There is also some resistance from recently emboldened hardliners about re-entering a commitment with the US.

Zarif said that the revival of the nuclear deal could be a straightforward matter.

"This can be done automatically, and with no need to set conditions: the United States carries out its duties under (Security Council Resolution) 2231 (lift sanctions) and we will carry out our commitments under the nuclear deal,", Zarif said.

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