Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the “ball is in Washington’s court” to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. He reiterated Tehran’s commitment to returning to the JCPOA if the US lifts sanctions on Iran.
“If they issue an order, they will see an order issued in Iran, no more. If they effectively implement their commitments, they must know there will be effective implementation of commitments on this side,” Rouhani said.
While on the campaign trail, Biden said he would return to diplomacy with Iran to revive the JCPOA. But comments from his cabinet members during confirmation hearings on Tuesday suggest they don’t expect a revival of the nuclear accord anytime soon.
Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines both said on Tuesday that “we are a long way” from returning to the JCPOA. Blinken said the administration plans to consult with Israel and Arab allies who oppose the JCPOA before returning to the deal.
Still, Rouhani seems hopeful that since the new administration is made up of many people who negotiated the JCPOA that they will return to it. “If they show their honesty in action, toward the laws and the resolution that they voted for and commitments they signed on for, naturally we will also implement all our commitments,” he said.
In response to the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s parliament passed a law that gave JCPOA signatories a deadline to lift or offset US sanctions. If sanctions are not lifted before the deadline, which is February 21, UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear program will be restricted.