Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran’s Alalam news network, which will be broadcast in full later on Sunday.
Reacting to the result of the recent presidential election in the United States and the possibility of a change in Washington’s approach to Tehran after Joe Biden is inaugurated as the new US president, the Iranian spokesman said, “The difference between Biden and [the incumbent US President Donald] Trump is obvious, but we are waiting for practical steps to be taken.”
“As the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution] said, the United States must repent. This means that it must firstly, admit to its mistakes and secondly, stop the economic war against Iran. Thirdly, it must mend its ways and commit to its obligations and, as the fourth step, compensate [Iran] for losses [it has inflicted on the country],” Khatibzadeh added.
Trump, a hawkish critic of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), unilaterally withdrew Washington from the agreement in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.
The US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign and targeted the Iranian nation with draconian restrictive measures in order to bring it to its knees, but Iran’s economy keeps humming and is getting back on its feet.
Following its much-criticized exit, Washington has been attempting to prevent the remaining signatories — the UK, France China and Russia plus Germany — from abiding by their commitments and thus kill the historic agreement, which is widely viewed as a fruit of international diplomacy.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday advised the incoming US administration to make up for its predecessor’s mistakes and return Washington to its international commitments.
“An opportunity has arisen now for the next US administration to make up for the past mistakes and return to the course of commitment to international obligations by respecting international principles,” Rouhani said.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “Iran is reserving a list of items for which the US administration must account.”
“US has no choice, but to show respect and return to the path of law,” the Iranian spokesperson said.
He noted that it was the United States that violated its obligations under the JCPOA and also violated the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear accord, adding, “The US is not in a position to set conditions for anybody…. It has inflicted billions of dollars in damage on the Iranian nation and has quit the JCPOA as a party.”
Khatibzadeh stated that if the United States decided to get back to the JCPOA, there would be a table, but it should first be held to account for breaching its promises.
Earlier on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to the result of the latest presidential vote in the United States and the election of Joe Biden as the 46th US president and advised the new administration to give up its predecessor’s “disastrous lawless bullying.”
“The American people have spoken. And the world is watching whether the new leaders will abandon disastrous lawless bullying of outgoing regime —and accept multilateralism, cooperation & respect for law,” Zarif tweeted.