During the visit, the top American diplomat sat down for an interview with Arabic-language Asharq News, fielding questions on a range of subjects from Iran’s nuclear program to the Ukraine war.
Blinken’s responses were riddled with glaring inconsistencies and false assertions, in particular regarding efforts to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
On being asked whether the US was “trying to revive the negotiations” over the 2015 nuclear accord, the US Secretary of State said “from day one” the US “made a significant effort in that direction”.
“So we, from day one, sought to determine whether a return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA was possible, and we made a significant effort in that direction, as did the European partners, and, for that matter, Russia and China,” Blinken said in the interview.
“But Iran either couldn’t or wouldn’t do what was necessary to get back into compliance with the JCPOA. So the JCPOA is not our focus,” he hastened to add.
A simple fact-check is in order to set the record straight.
It was the US government, under the megalomaniac former President Donald Trump, which unilaterally abandoned the landmark nuclear agreement in May 2018, and reinstated an array of sanctions on Iran.
The move was in complete breach of the agreement and Washington’s legal obligations under Resolution 2231, the United Nations Charter and international law.
Iran adopted strategic patience for one year, waiting for European signatories to salvage the deal, and only then announced retaliatory measures, which included gradually scaling up uranium enrichment in line with a law passed by the Iranian parliament.
Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, pledged to reverse the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran that violated the multilateral deal and laid bare the infamous American hypocrisy.
However, more than two years into office, Biden has not only failed to reverse his predecessor’s hard-nosed measures but has doubled down and escalated the situation.
Since April 2021, Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal have been engaged in marathon negotiations in Vienna to revive the accord and lift sanctions, facilitated by the European Union.
Despite a degree of progress, the consensus has been eluding mainly due to the policy of procrastination adopted by the Biden administration, with Blinken and his Iran pointsman Rob Malley playing a key role in letting the process drag on.
Blinken’s remarks about the US mulling “a return to mutual compliance” with the deal and making “a significant effort in that direction” hold no water when we examine the ground realities and actions taken by the US over the past two years.
Iran continues to be a key party to the deal, unlike the US which unilaterally and irresponsibly walked out of it. Iran has maintained that measures it has taken since May 2019 to scale up its uranium enrichment are reversible if the US returns to the deal in good faith and lifts all illegal sanctions.
Blinken’s statement that Iran “either couldn’t or wouldn’t do what was necessary to get back into compliance with the JCPOA” also fails the fact-check test.
United States left the deal. United States reneged on its commitments under the deal. United States stopped compliance with the deal. United States imposed and reimposed sanctions on Iran. United States launched the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against the Islamic Republic.
In the last two years, it is the United States that has failed to provide guarantees to Iran that it won’t violate the terms of the agreement again. It is the United States that has weaponized sanctions against the people of Iran while harping about human rights.
United States has also refused to compensate Iran for the losses caused by sanctions while exerting pressure on the UN nuclear agency to politicize its purely technical work.
The culprit here is the United States. Iran is well within its rights as the signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue its nuclear energy program for peaceful, scientific purposes.
The peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program has been attested by the International Atomic Energy Agency which regularly conducts inspections at various nuclear facilities in the country and has to date failed to notice or report any activity that points to divergence or deviation in the program.
The ball is in the Biden administration’s court. It has to save the deal through action, not rhetoric.
Source: Press TV
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