Zarif: The US is the one that needs to return to the deal

Iran’s Foreign Minister says the onus is on the Biden administration to live up to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Sunday that if the US wanted to restore the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement it exited, the onus was on the Biden administration to live up to the deal.

“It was the United States that left the deal. It was the United States that violated the deal. It was the United States that punished any country that remained respectful and compliant with the deal. So it is for the United States to return to the deal, to implement its obligations,” Zarif said in an interview with CNN, as quoted by Politico.

“The way to go back to full compliance on the part of Iran is for the United States, which has totally left the deal, to come back and implement its obligations,” he continued. “Now, it’s clear it’s a decision that President Biden and his advisers need to take. Whether they want to break with the failed policies of President Trump or whether they want to build on his failures. If they want to build on his failures, they will only get failure as a result.”

Zarif also stressed once again that his country would refuse to consider negotiating a different deal or adding other elements to the agreement.

“The entire nuclear deal is nonnegotiable because it was fully negotiated,” Zarif said. “We need to implement something that we negotiated. We do not buy the horse twice.”

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 agreement nearly three years ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran. The Islamic Republic, in turn, has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

Biden has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 agreement and recently told The New York Times that he would return to the 2015 agreement if Iran returned to compliance with it.

Iran has repeatedly made clear that it will not renegotiate the original agreement. Zarif’s comments on Sunday came hours after Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, demanded that the US lift all sanctions, calling the end of the sanctions regime a condition for Iran returning to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Biden told CBS News in an interview which aired on Sunday that the US will not lift its sanctions on Tehran until Iran freezes its uranium enrichment.