'Bluster or threats won’t get US a new deal': Zarif

TEHRAN, May 03 (MNA) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif, while criticizing European sides for appeasing US by giving concessions excluded from nuclear deal, stressed that ‘bluster or threats won’t get the US a new deal’.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a video posted on his Twitter on Thursday.

“For the first two years in my post [as Iran’s foreign minister] I spent much of my time negotiating with my counterparts from European Union, Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States,” he said. “We reached a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in 2015. We called it JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. In the deal, my country agreed to take certain concrete steps to assuage the concerns of the United States, primarily. The US in turn committed to remove sanctions and to cease impending business with Iran.”

The deal was not a treaty to require signature or ratification by any side, but it became binding by all as it was unanimously by the United Nations Security Council, he added.

Zarif went on to add, “on 11 occasions since, the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has implemented all of its obligations. In contrast, the US has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bulling others from doing business with Iran.”

“In the last year or so, we’ve been told that President Trump is unhappy with the deal. And it now appears that the response from some Europeans has been to offer the United States more concessions from ‘our’ pocket,” Zarif said.

“This appeasement entails promises of a new deal that will include matters we all decided to exclude at the outset of our negotiations, including Iran’s defensive capabilities and regional influence,” he added.

Zarif continued, “but please understand that on both issues, it is Iran and not the West that has serious grievousness and much to demand. We have not attacked anyone in centuries, but we have been invaded; most recently, by Saddam Hussein who was then backed by the US and its regional allies.”

“The West even actively prevented us from buying rudimentary means of defense even as Saddam Hussein showered both Iranian civilians and soldiers with chemical weapons,” Zarif said. “Despite that haunting experience, we still spend a fraction of countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate on defense. And our missiles have a shorter range than those of Saudi Arabia. And unlike US allies in the region who have brainwashed, financed and armed groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the ISIS, we have been pivotal in defeating these extremist groups.”

“Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: we will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add on to a deal we have already implemented in good faith. To put it in real estate terms, when you buy a house and move a family in, or demolish a skyscraper, you cannot come back two years later and try to renegotiate a price,” the Iranian diplomat said.

He went on to add, “in the coming days, the United States will have to decide whether to finally abide by its obligations. Iran stands firm in the face of futile attempts and bullying, but if the US continues to violate the agreement, or if it withdraws altogether, we will exercise our right to respond in a manner of our choosing.”

“Bluster or threats won’t get the US a new deal; particularly as it is not honoring the deal it has already made,” Zarif said.

“Relying on cartoonish allegations, rehash from more than a decade ago and dealt with by the IAEA to make a case for nixing the deal has fooled no one.” He said. “Thus, the US is well-advised to finally start honoring its commitments or it and only it, will have to accept responsibilities for the consequences of not doing so.”  

MS

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