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Zarif censures US, E3 for trying to blackmail Iran into renegotiating nuclear deal

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has censured the United States and E3 or the three European parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal over their “ill-intention” with regard to Iran and trying to blackmail Iran into renegotiating the deal.

“The US and E3 have been transparent about their transgressions and have repeatedly stated their ill-intention to compel Iran to renegotiate [the JCPOA] provisions through economic pressure and blackmail,” Zarif said in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres published on Friday.

He noted that his experience as Iran’s foreign minister shows that Western powers find it beneath them to engage on equal footing with middle-income countries, let alone developing nations.

According to Zarif, while Iran fully complied with its obligations under the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Western countries only paid lip service to their contractual obligations.

He also pointed to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018 under former US president Donald Trump, saying after Trump withdrew from the deal, the US and E3 believed that they could reap the fruits of their poisonous tree and resume their old habit of “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”

“The Biden administration—again, aided and abetted by the E3—has since its inauguration in January 2021 continued Trump’s economic terrorism against Iranians as supposed ‘leverage’ to achieve the same objectives,” Zarif wrote in his letter.

For their part, the chief Iranian diplomat continued, the EU/E3 remained politically committed to the JCPOA and initially took a measured and mild diplomatic stance against the unlawful US withdrawal from the JCPOA and its re-imposition of sanctions.

“However, as it became gradually clear to the EU/E3 that they were incapable of performing their own obligations under the JCPOA and commitments undertaken following the US’s withdrawal at the highest level, they sought to conceal their multiple cases of significant non-performance by calling for a “Trump deal,” in clear violation of Paragraphs 28 and 29 of the JCPOA, and Operative Paragraph 2 of UNSCR 2231 (2015),” he added.

Elsewhere in his letter, Zarif said the Iranian government and people have made enormous sacrifices to preserve the JCPOA in spite of US contempt for it and EU/E3 complacency in the face of that contempt.

“As history has shown, the Iranian people have throughout the course of their millennia-old and glorious civilization triumphed over intimidation, coercion or extortion,” he stated.

Zarif added, “At the same time, today, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains prepared  to reciprocally contribute to serious efforts to revive the full implementation of the JCPOA by all in an atmosphere of good faith, equal footing and mutual respect.”

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