Iran’s top negotiator has denounced the new threats leveled by the Western countries against Tehran as “a blame game,” saying such rhetoric is aimed at distracting the public opinion from the failure of the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal to honor their commitments.
Ali Baqeri-Kani, Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs, made the remarks in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Friday, days after British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned that “all options are on the table” if Iran fails to “meaningfully” engage in talks over its nuclear program.
“In my opinion, such positions are a blame game in order to divert the public opinion from the responsibilities of the European side in the framework of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1, and to show them a false signal,” he said.
“Now, the main issue is that the European side has demonstrated its non-compliance with the agreement in recent years, and especially after the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA,” he added, using the acronym for the official title of the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Baqeri-Kani also complained that the European parties had gone as far as sanctioning humanitarian items such as food, medicine and medical equipment.
“Therefore, in my view, such positions show that they (the Western states) have a political will to divert the public attention from their responsibilities and to give wrong addresses to public opinion,” he concluded.
The negotiations stalled in June, when Iran held a presidential election. Since then, Tehran has been reviewing the details of the six rounds of the discussions held under the previous administration.
Former US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories, and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Elsewhere in his interview, the Iranian deputy foreign minister stressed that the Islamic Republic is the only country that is fully honoring its obligations under the JCPOA.
The nuclear deal, he noted, has been the product of continuous and lengthy negotiations and fully implemented by Iran, even now that the country is not fulfilling some of its obligations under the JCPOA’s Articles 26 and 36.
“The American side violated both the agreement and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by its pullout from the JCPOA. Although the European side did not withdraw from the JCPOA, it practically showed its non-compliance with the deal’s provisions and implementation. Accordingly, the Islamic Republic is currently the only stable party to the agreement between Iran and the P5+1, and thus the latter must be held accountable for their actions in violation of UNSC Resolution 2231,” he said.