Iran Optimistic about JCPOA, Pessimistic about US

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran's positive attitude towards last year’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 does not represent its view about the United States and other world powers.

“Optimism about the JCPOA does not mean optimism about superpowers; we are optimistic about the JCPOA, but pessimistic with regards to the US,” Rouhani said in reference to the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian chief executive said the JCPOA paved the ground for economic development in the country and attracting domestic and foreign investment.

Less than a year after the JCPOA’s implementation, some 350 commercial delegations as well as 160 political ones have visited Iran, he said.

Rouhani further said Iranians put up resistance against the six world powers and managed to “courageously break the chain of” sanctions.

“A few may be upset by the lifting of sanctions as it endangers their profits, but the great Iranian nation is happy with” the achievement, the Iranian president added.

The Iranian President also said his administration pulled off the task of removing the bases for sanctions against the Islamic Republic, not just the bans themselves, by achieving a nuclear deal with six world powers.

President Rouhani said the administration could have reached a deal in the course of nuclear negotiations “much sooner” but was after eliminating the bases for the sanctions, which he implied was the reason why the talks took more time.

President Rouhani said his administration also succeeded in removing the foundations used to impose the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, explaining that the bases for the sanctions were derived from Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, as well as the issue of the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) of the Iranian nuclear program at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He said some people were of the opinion that the Security Council resolutions, which had been adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, could not be removed in a single day, “but we had them annulled in one day and before implementing the JCPOA.”

The Iranian nuclear case exiting Chapter VII “means that... one basis for the sanctions has been removed,” President Rouhani said.

He said other countries whose cases had been adopted under Chapter VII were either invaded militarily or were subjected to devastating sanctions regimes.

He said the PMD issue, the other basis for the nuclear-related bans on Iran, was also resolved through the course of negotiations.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency has now officially declared that it has no questions about Iran’s nuclear past and that its main questions have to do with the future and the issue of the JCPOA,” President Rouhani said.

“Twelve IAEA resolutions against Iran were lifted in a single day, which is cause for pride on the part of the Iranian nation and its diplomats,” the Iranian president said.

“Not a single Iranian nuclear scientist was disrespected and no one could interview even one Iranian nuclear scientist about Iran’s nuclear activities,” said President Rouhani.

The Iranian President also said both sides to Iran’s nuclear agreement need to abide by their commitments if they want the deal to yield the best result.

“Both sides to the Iranian nuclear agreement need to be committed to the full and immediate implementation of what has been agreed in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Rouhani said.

The Iranian president reaffirmed his country’s commitment to its obligations under the JCPOA, saying Iran expects the other side to do the same.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far fulfilled all its commitments, but some parties [to the deal] have fallen short of honoring some of their obligations,"  Rouhani said, adding "the JCPOA serves the interests of all and is a win-win agreement.”

He noted that Iran’s negotiations with the P5+1 group of countries over Tehran’s nuclear program showed that global disputes can be settled best through dialogue.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said Tehran expects the US’s JCPOA commitments not to be only on “paper.”

“The JCPOA’s implementation has been successful in various areas, but there are some shortcomings in relation to the US commitments… We expect that -- with pressure made by us and our European partners -- their commitments would not only remain on paper,” Zarif said.

He stressed that Tehran expects the US to honor its commitments and proceed with the plan more actively.

Zarif went on to note that thanks to the removal of sanctions on Iran’s international trade transactions, the country’s oil exports have returned to pre-sanctions levels.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also said Iran expects the Western side to Iran’s nuclear agreement to abide by its commitments.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran entered the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 group with full sincerity to help find a fair and logical solution" to the Western dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, Larijani said.

He added that last year’s conclusion of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), proved Iran’s sincere policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Larijani touched on the issue of terrorism and extremism, saying Iran and European countries can cooperate in the fight against the two menaces.

“We are willing to cooperate with other countries to help restore regional stability and contribute to the settlement of dangerous crises by confronting terrorist groups,” he said.

*Photo Credit: Press TVISNA

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