‘Biden spurned Trump’s policy on Iran in words, not in practice’

Tehran, Feb 21: US President Joe Biden has not changed the harsh policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, towards Tehran despite his promises and pursues the same course in practice, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with the Press TV broadcaster on Sunday.
Biden has repeatedly vowed to return the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal, abandoned by Trump in 2018, but has not taken any steps so far. Earlier in February, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said that the Biden administration’s policy on Iran was no different from that of Trump’s, as no changes in the US’ approach have been seen so far.
“Nothing has changed. Biden claims that Trump’s policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure … But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy, they have not changed that policy,” Zarif said, adding that the problem is that the US is “addicted” to sanctions, pressure and bullying.
Iran needs actions not promises, as well as guarantees that illegal measures taken by Trump will not be implemented again in the future, the minister added. According to the diplomat, a soon as all parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fulfill their commitments under the deal, negotiations on a nuclear deal with the participation of the United States will also take place.
At the same time, the talks will not relate to changes in the agreement or any new provisions of the deal, such as regional issues and the Iranian missile program, Zarif noted. In 2015, Iran signed the nuclear deal with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, Germany and the EU. It required the country to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal’s adoption. In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran.
Though Biden has expressed readiness to rejoin the deal, he has also called for negotiating a broader agreement with Iran that would cover outstanding issues, like Iran’s missile program or its belligerent clientele across the Middle East.
Tehran, in turn, has rejected the possibility of expanding the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, Iran passed a law in late 2020 to increase its uranium enrichment to 20 percent and stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
In January, Tehran began working on the production of uranium metal. (Agencies)

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