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Iran FM slams US for making ‘foolish’ claims on nuclear deal, relevant resolution

Iran’s foreign minister slams US officials for making “foolish” claims about the 2015 nuclear deal and the UN resolution that endorsed it, saying it is natural for those who suggest disinfectant injections as a preventive measure against the new coronavirus to claim they are still party to the agreement they have already abandoned.

“Making foolish claims by US officials is nothing new,” Zarif told reporters on Wednesday, reacting to remarks by US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, who recently said in an address to US presidential contender Joe Biden that “nothing will be left of the JCPOA until you return to it”.

Hook referred to the nuclear deal by the acronym of its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran signed the deal with six major world states, including the US, in 2015, but Washington under Trump later quit the accord, which was endorsed by UN Security Council 2231.

Biden in an electoral speech had spoken of Washington’s conditional return to the JCPOA if he wins the presidential race.

The presidential hopeful said the United States’ first condition to return to the JCPOA would be for Iran to renew its commitment to the nuclear deal.

He promised his supporters to reinforce and expand the JCPOA in cooperation with US allies.

“It is none of Brian Hook’s business to say ‘nothing will be left of the JCPOA.’ What is important is between Iran and the JCPOA’s remaining parties,” Zarif said.

The top Iranian diplomat said that “we have carried out all our measures within the framework of the JCPOA,” calling on the remaining signatories of the deal to change their behavior so that Tehran can return to the full implementation of the accord.   

He called the JCPOA a “strong document,” saying, the Americans will realize in the future that the hostile measures they have taken to undermine the agreement “will be to their own detriment.”

Zarif said that Iran has made “considerable” achievements in the field of nuclear energy and “by no means has the JCPOA hindered our progress.”

Referring to Trump, who recently drew ridicule by suggesting injecting disinfectant to treat coronavirus, Zarif said “it is not unexpected of those advising people to drink or inject disinfectants to fight the coronavirus to come forward and say they are still a party to the agreement after officially leaving it.”

Despite no longer being a party to the contract, Washington has recently launched a campaign to extend a UN embargo on the sales of conventional weapons to Iran that is set to expire under the JCPOA this October.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first announced the intention and Hook told reporters last week, “We are operating under the assumption that we will be able to renew the arms embargo.”

Hook also wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “one way or another” Washington would ensure the arms embargo remains. He said the United States has drafted a Security Council resolution and “will press ahead with diplomacy and build support.”

Iran has warned the United States that Iran would not accept any violation of the UN Security Council resolution that mandates the lifting of the arms embargo against the Islamic Republic, saying the country was absolutely entitled to the ban’s cancellation.

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