Iran says committed to nuclear deal, criticizes US for hindering deal implementation
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has reaffirmed Tehran’s full commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), criticizing the US for hindering the implementation of the deal.
Qassemi said on Wednesday that proving Iran’s compliance with the spirit and letter of the JCPOA was not difficult as it has been time and again verified by the UN nuclear agency and parties to the deal.
He said US claims that Iran is not committed to the spirit of the JCPOA are “aimed at deflecting the global public opinion away from the unconstructive and provocative acts by the US against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which have stopped Iran from reaping the full benefits of the JCPOA.”
“The measures and approaches by the new US administration over the past months run counter to the letter of the JCPOA concerning its implementation with ‘good will’ and avoidance of measures that hinder the ‘successful implementation’ of this multilateral international agreement,” Qassemi said.
Qassemi’s remarks came in reaction to US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s claim that Washington was in full compliance with its side of the nuclear agreement.
She added on Tuesday that the US administration was reviewing its policy toward Iran, and that it believed the nuclear deal did not put an end to what she called Tehran’s other “destabilizing activities” in the region.
The Iranian official dismissed the remarks as “tedious and unrealistic.”
Qassemi called on the US side to take a realistic stance vis-à-vis Iran’s “unrivaled role in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.”
US annual report on religious freedom ‘biased’
Separately on Wednesday, Qassemi dismissed the US State Department’s annual report on religious freedom as “unrealistic, baseless, and biased,” saying the report pursues certain political objectives.
Qassemi said the report contained “subjective and groundless interpretations,” warning such interpretations about religions and religious beliefs could lead to the escalation of inter-religious conflicts all to no avail.
He also criticized the report for portraying a “distorted” image of the situation of religious freedom in Iran.
“This report has once again presented a distorted politicized image using unsubstantiated claims about religious freedom in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Qassemi said.
The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 has accused Iran of not respecting the rights of religious minorities, alleging that the Islamic Republic has restricted religious freedom in the country.
Qassemi said the US only seeks the “political exploitation of religious diversity in the world,” adding that Washington seemed to lack a realistic understanding of the internal situation of countries, especially their demographic and religious conditions.
He stressed that the Iranian nation freely practiced their religions within the framework of law that supports religious freedom.
“It is expected that the US administration, instead of judging the status of religious freedom in other countries, take legal and practical measures to ensure religious freedom, especially the rights of Muslims, in the United States,” he said.