US Isolated after JCPOA Withdrawal: Iran’s Zarif
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US failure to gain support for its allegations against Iran at a Wednesday meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed Washington’s isolation in the world following its move to scrap the 2015 nuclear deal.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Zarif said that the US isolated itself on the world stage by withdrawing from the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), citing Washington’s failure to gain support for its anti-Iran accusations at a Wednesday meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.
“Under the current circumstances, the US feels it has been defeated both politically and operationally,” he added.
“One of the reasons for the US’ defeat is the (Iranian) people’s resistance,” he said, adding that “the wrong policies perused by the US and its regional allies” have only made the resistance movement stronger.
The top Iranian diplomat said that Americans made “wrong calculations” that Iran would “collapse under tough economic pressures, all calculations (made by) the West and Americans failed to work by relying on the Iranian people.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said the US needs to stop “economic terrorism” against the Iranian nation if it really seeks talks with the Islamic Republic.
“We do not hold negotiations with those who have waged economic terrorism against our people. This should stop.”
“We never left the negotiating table….They (Americans) themselves decided to do so. They now make a false claim to deceive [the public] that ‘we are ready to negotiate.’ If they are ready for talks, negotiations are not in sync with terrorism,” he said.
The IAEA held a special meeting on Wednesday at Washington’s request to win the Board of Governors’ support for its anti-Iran claims about the JCPOA.
The emergency meeting of the 35-member Board of Governors of the IAEA was held in Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, which wrapped up with no conclusion.
The meeting came a few days after Iran increased the level of its uranium enrichment to 4.5%, which is beyond the limit set by the JCPOA. The move was part of the second phase of the country’s May 8 decision to reduce its commitments under the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal in reaction to the US violations and Europe’s inaction.
The emergency meeting was held at the request of US Ambassador to International Organizations Jackie Wolcott. Iran later criticized the US’ request as a “sad irony” as Washington is the party that has violated the deal first by unilaterally pulling out of it and imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.
Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.
The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA, but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.