Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif released a video statement in English on Wednesday where he appealed to the Biden administration to lift sanctions on Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Zarif warned President Biden that the “current window” to revive the JCPOA is closing. “Soon, my government will be compelled to take further remedial action in response to the American and European dismal failure to live up to their commitments under the nuclear deal,” he said.
Zarif was referring to a law passed by Iran’s parliament that set February 21st as a deadline for Iran to slightly restrict IAEA inspections of its nuclear program if sanctions are not eased. “It can be averted, only if the United States decides to learn from Trump’s ‘maximum failure.'”
The Trump administration’s Iran policy, dubbed the “maximum pressure” campaign, left in place crippling economic sanctions on Iran. As a candidate, President Biden said he would return to the JCPOA, but so far, all of Trump’s sanctions are still in place.
In his statement, which was released on the day Iran commemorates its 1979 revolution, Zarif urged the new administration to change course. “On the anniversary of our revolution, I reiterate Iran’s invitation to make use of the current window of opportunity to embrace dialogue and do away with the futile hostility towards the Iranian people,” he said.
The Biden administration is demanding Iran return to commitments it agreed to under the JCPOA before the US lifts sanctions. But since the US is the party that violated the deal, Iran wants Biden to act first. Zarif had suggested coordinating the actions needed by both sides to revive the JCPOA. While the US publicly dismissed Zarif’s idea, reports say a similar strategy is being weighed by the Biden administration.