EU has role in salvaging Iran deal, says Tehran UN envoy

Hopes that the Iran nuclear deal could be revived were buoyed after the election of Joe Biden as US president, his predecessor Donald Trump having pulled out of the accord in 2018.

But the agreement remains shaky as Iran recently resumed uranium enrichment operations.

Now Tehran”s envoy to the United Nations has told Euronews that Europe could play a role to get the US re-commit to it.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal was one of the landmark diplomatic achievements of the Obama era. But the decision by former US President Donald Trump to withdraw America from the pact triggered a gradual disengagement by Iran.

Now Tehran’s United Nations Ambassador, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, has told Euronews that Europe could help salvage the agreement:

“There are specific roles in that the EU can play and should play. One of the issues that was mentioned by our foreign minister Dr Zarif was about the role EU can play in order to facilitate the return of the United States to the JCPOA. So the role that the EU can play is quite clear and is based on what is written in JCPOA and in (UN) Resolution 2231.”

Ambassador Takht-Ravanchi also contradicted recent reported comments by Iran’s intelligence minister that the country could acquire nuclear weapons if sanctions weren’t lifted.

“Nuclear weapons do not have any place in our defensive doctrine,” he said. “The fatwah of our Supreme Leader has clearly shown that Iran does not have any interest to possess nuclear weapons. In fact, nuclear weapons are forbidden based on the fatwah of the Supreme Leader. Therefore we do not have any interest in acquiring nuclear weapons and there has not been any change in our police towards nuclear weapons.”

Under the 2015 deal, Iran committed to allowing UN inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for the withdrawal of harsh economic sanctions. The accord remains close to collapse but it could be revived if both US President Joe Biden and the Iranian leadership re-commit to it.

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