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Rebuking Biden, Iran’s Chief Diplomat Demands More Sanctions Relief

  • September 26, 2021

The new minister portrayed his view of dealing with the United States as dramatically different from that of his urbane, American-educated predecessor, Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying the previous government had spent far too much energy negotiating lengthy, detailed agreements with the United States.

“The standard for us,” said Mr. Amirabdollahian, “will be one to watch the action of U.S. officials and judge based on actions taken by President Biden,” rather than on Mr. Biden’s “paradoxical statements.”

He suggested that the Iran deal went off the rails long before Mr. Trump took office. He argued that President Barack Obama had worked, even after the accord was reached, to keep Iran from reaping the benefits of sanctions relief.

“It’s important to note that the violations began under Obama, and then President Trump,” he said, contending that banks and energy companies pulled back from signing deals even when the agreement was in place.

He is partly right: Many companies feared the rules would change again after the 2016 presidential election. That fear proved warranted, as Mr. Trump rescinded the deal and imposed new sanctions.

The same could happen again, Mr. Amirabdollahian said, so Iran is learning how to live in a world of sanctions. “We will not tie the fate of our nation to the J.C.P.O.A.,” he said, using the formal name for the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“We will return to the negotiations and will do so very quickly,” he told The Times. “But if our counterparts don’t change their behavior we may not reach the required result.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/24/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-sanctions-biden.html

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