The United States this Thursday called on the new President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, to “return soon to negotiations,” as it is one of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “urgent priority” for Washington.
This is what the US State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference following the inauguration of the ultra-conservative Raisi as the new president of the country after his overwhelming victory in the last election.
In his speech at the event, the Iranian President stressed that the Iranian nuclear program is “completely peaceful” and that the state “prohibits nuclear weapons” that “have no place in the country’s defense strategy,” he said.
For this reason, he has indicated that international pressure “will not prevent the Iranian nation from exercising its legal rights,” including the “right to development,” for which it is again seeking the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the country’s economy I support “every diplomatic plan that pursues this goal”.
In this context, Price said that if Raisi is “determined to lift the sanctions,” he must continue negotiations, since “exactly what is on the table in Vienna, where the dialogues are taking place”.
“There is a strict and comprehensive regime of sanctions against Iran. That will remain in force against Iran unless we can jointly return to compliance with the JCPOA,” he affirmed.
The spokesman therefore urged the Iranian President to return to negotiations “to try to complete the work”. “Our message to Raisi is the same as our message to his predecessors: The United States will defend and promote our national security interests and those of our partners,” he added.
He added that he hoped Tehran “now takes the opportunity to promote diplomatic solutions” as the process “cannot continue indefinitely,” he said.
“The opportunity to achieve mutual return to JCPOA compliance won’t last forever. The longer this goes on, the benefits to our national security that would accrue from a mutual return to compliance will be weakened by the progress of Iran “while the shackles are being removed from its nuclear program,” lamented Price.
The Iranian government announced on July 19 that the next round of talks in Vienna after the swearing-in of President-elect Raisi would take place on Thursday after the contacts stalemate. However, Tehran had previously stated that its position would not be changed after Hasan Rouhani left the presidency.
Iran announced that it would withdraw its commitments on several points of the deal after the United States unilaterally abandoned the pact in 2018, raising concerns among other signatories about a possible collapse of the pact. However, the Iranian authorities have argued time and again that these steps can be reversed if the United States lifts sanctions and reverts to the agreement.