TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign
Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian promised a “proportionate” response to new U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic after sponsoring a resolution at the UN against the Islamic Republic.
In a phone conversation with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Amir-Abdollahian slammed the “unconstructive and hasty” resolution, which was passed during a recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Board of Governors.
“Tehran has always welcomed rational and result-oriented negotiations, but in order to reach a good and lasting agreement, it is necessary for the other side to give up its double standards and contradictory behavior,” the minister said.
“After the resolution was passed in the IAEA’s Board of Governors, we showed that we will not back down from the nation’s rights, and if the United States wants to continue its unconstructive behavior, it will face our proportionate response,” he said.
The foreign minister said Iran still believes that “diplomacy is the best and most appropriate” solution to the outstanding issues on the revival of the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Iran has never distanced itself from the negotiating table. For this reason, we have always presented important initiatives in the talks in order to reach a favorable agreement, but negotiations must be fruitful,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna since April last year to restore the JCPOA, which was ditched by former U.S. President Donald Trump in May 2018.
In quitting the agreement, Trump introduced what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees. Tehran maintains that the policy has failed dismally. The Biden administration agrees, yet it has not taken any tangible steps to deliver on its promise of repealing the policy.
In recent months, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason behind the protraction of the talks, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from
the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the American side that it will not leave the deal again.
The IAEA’s Board of Governors passed the resolution, proposed by the U.S. and the three European parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, and Germany, which accuses Tehran of failing to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear agency.
In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, the Iranian foreign minister called for an end to the United States’ “sanctions lunacy” and the IAEA’s “politicized approach” over the country’s nuclear program.
Amir-Abdollahian emphasized that the Islamic Republic would “NEVER hesitate to neutralize sanctions.”
The senior EU official, for his part, said he would continue to play a positive role in helping all parties to the JCPOA reach a final agreement and stressed the importance of pursuing diplomacy and avoiding unconstructive measures in this regard.
He asserted that Iran is firmly determined to reach a good and lasting deal that aims to salvage the JCPOA, and said the sides are not far from reaching an agreement in Vienna.
Now is the time to immediately resume the Vienna talks and make efforts to prevent escalation of tensions, Borrell said.
He expressed his readiness to make every effort necessary to help Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA reach a final agreement.