Iran: Rouhani urges next US gov’t to ‘return to commitments’

In an apparent nod to a potential Biden presidency, Iran’s Rouhani calls for a return to US commitments under the nuclear deal.

Iran has said it will return to full commitments once the US comes back to the accord, lifts sanctions and pays compensation [AFP]

Tehran, Iran – As Joe Biden increasingly seems closer to victory in the United States presidential elections, President Hassan Rouhani has called on the next US administration to restart fulfilling commitments under the Iran nuclear deal.

In a televised speech on Saturday, Rouhani said the Iranian people have faced “economic terrorism” for the past three years and have shown admirable resistance.

“Our country’s decision has always been clear and our nation will continue its resistance and patience under any circumstances until the other side bows down to law,” he said.

The president said he hopes those who sanctioned Iran will come to the conclusion their methods have been wrong and will bear no results.

“We hope that the experience of these three years has been a lesson to them that will make the next US administration follow the law and return to all its commitments,” Rouhani said.

President Donald Trump in May 2018 reneged on the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015 and unilaterally imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran. Unending sanctions, issued under multiple designations, have now blacklisted the entire Iranian financial sector.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has promised to return to the nuclear deal and ease pressure on Iran in an effort to get it back to the negotiating table.

Iran, which gradually scaled back its commitments under the nuclear deal starting May 2019, has said it will return to full commitments once the US comes back to the deal, lifts sanctions, and pays compensation.

On November 4, when Trump seemed to be leading the election results, Rouhani signalled Iran has planned for tougher conditions in the future.

“We have planned based on the assumption that the methods and behaviours of the US will not return to the correct approach,” he said.

“If the Americans come to a realisation … that they must choose another way, so much the better. But if not, our decisions are based on how to run the country if conditions are difficult.”

‘Maximum pressure’

Iranian authorities have maintained the country’s policies do not change depending on who enters the White House, and Iran will continue to resist until the US changes its “maximum pressure” policy.

In an op-ed in Iran daily newspaper on Wednesday, government spokesman Ali Rabiei reiterated the stance, saying Iran knew surrendering to Trump would not only make him back down but would endanger the country’s long-term policies.

“We also knew that such a policy would start an ominous tradition that could turn Iran’s economy and Iranians’ livelihoods into hostages of sanctions at any point and with any excuse perhaps for decades,” he wrote.

Source: Al Jazeera