'It is possible to reach diplomatic solution with Iran'

TEHRAN, Feb. 20 (MNA) – US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Joe Biden has asked them to agree to an invitation from the European Union to start talks on Iran.

Asked about the administration's Thursday announcement that it is willing to sit down with Iran and other countries to discuss how to restart negotiations on the fraying international deal that put limits on Iran's nuclear program, Sullivan said in an interview with CNN, "We believe it is totally possible to come to a diplomatic solution," but stressed it is "an early stage."

"It is going to take work and hard-headed clear-eyed diplomacy, and ultimately a decision by Iran that they are prepared to take the steps required to assure the world and to prove to the world that the program is exclusively for peaceful purposes," he claimed.

"What we have said repeatedly is that the United States is prepared to come back into compliance with its terms if Iran comes back into compliance with its terms under the deal, and frankly, one of the concerns right now is that Iran is presently threatening to move even further out of compliance, to refuse to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the work that it is trying to do to ensure that nothing in Iran's program is being used for weapons purposes," Sullivan said.

"So I think that the first order of business here would be for the Iranians to take the decision, to stop the process of moving further out of compliance, and then I believe that there is a diplomatic pathway to getting to the ultimate agreement in which we can all have confidence that Iran's nuclear program has a lid on it," he added.

Sullivan's remarks come as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, and its inspectors are still stationed in Iran.

After the illegitimate US exit from the JCPOA in May 2018, the three European signatories to the deal remained indifferent to making up for Iran’s losses.

Amid the Europeans’ lack of action, Iran took five steps to reduce its commitments to the deal while vowing that it will reverse the course as soon as the other parties live up to their commitments under the accord.

Recently, the Iranian parliament passed a bill, dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions in early last December, setting a Feb. 21 deadline for Biden to lift the US sanctions. Otherwise, Iran will halt inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and further boost uranium enrichment. 

Iran has so far resumed 20% uranium enrichment at Fordow plant in accordance with the Parliament’s legislation and has warned that in the case Washington does not remove all the anti-Iran illegitimate sanctions, it will also stop voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, which gives IAEA inspectors unannounced visits to Iranian facilities.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized that for Tehran, the return of the United States to the JCPOA is not an important issue, but what is important is the lifting of US sanctions against Iran.

ZZ/PR

News Code 170166

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