On the day of US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on state TV during a cabinet meeting that the US had isolated itself from the world because of its strategies.
“In regard to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and Resolution 2231 they failed… They could not carry out the so-called snapback,” Rouhani said adding that the Trump administration failed in its maximum pressure campaign.
“We expect the new administration at the White House to return to their commitments and remove the stains from the past four years. However not all stains can be removed,” the regime’s President said.
Rouhani said the USA should return to the rule of law, international regulations, and Resolution 2231.
“If they return to the rule of law, then we will also carry out our commitments,” he added.
Rouhani said that “the ball was in Washington’s court”.
“Trump died and the JCPOA is alive,” he added. “The JCPOA is still alive and better than before.”
However, according to Biden’s incoming Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during her confirmation hearing yesterday, the United States was not close to rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.
“I think, frankly, we are a long way” from Iran coming back into compliance with the nuclear deal, Haines said.
Yesterday, two of Joe Biden’s top national security nominees also said the US does not face a quick decision on whether to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal.
Biden, taking office today, has said that if Iran resumed strict compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, Washington would too.
“We are a long way from there,” Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for secretary of state, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that the Democratic President would need to see what Iran actually did to resume complying with the pact.
“We would then have to evaluate whether they were actually making good if they say they are coming back into compliance with their obligations, and then we would take it from there,” he added, saying Biden’s ultimate aim would be a deal that also limited Iran’s missile program and support for regional proxies.
But Iran has not kept its end of the deal. On January 5, Iran’s Political Deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the regime’s Parliament had made a decision to increase its uranium enrichment levels to 20%, a move that would breach the JCPOA.
Abbas Araghchi claimed the new step would not be “the death of the JCPOA”.
Following the announcement, the European Union’s foreign policy spokesman, Peter Stano said that Iran’s actions “will have serious implications when it comes to nuclear nonproliferation.”
Despite Rouhani’s show of optimism for a “better JCPOA than before” it is unlikely that the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will allow the regime any concessions when it comes to its nuclear or missile program not to mention its funding of terrorism via its proxy forces.
Khamenei has said that the US must remove all sanctions before any deal can be made.
So, like incoming US officials said, we will not see a return to the JCPOA anytime soon because the regime simply cannot afford any concession in its weakened state.