On Wednesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed his growing frustration with the US and said he has seen “no serious efforts” from the Biden administration to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Rouhani’s comments come after media reports said the US is preparing to offer a new proposal to Iran related to the JCPOA. But Rouhani pointed out that the US is able to restore the agreement at any time by lifting sanctions that have been imposed since 2018 when the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA.
Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting, Rouhani said that while Biden has denounced the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, his words have not translated into actions since all of Trump’s crippling sanctions are still in place.
The Iranian president dismissed the idea that lifting sanctions would be a long process for the US. “The Americans lie when they say a return to their commitments and the lifting of the sanctions will take two to three months … It can be done with one decree and in one hour,” he said. “If there is a serious resolve, the US can return to all its obligations in a single day, and we can also return to all our commitments.”
While the Biden administration now says it is willing to talk with Iran, it shot down early offers from Tehran to coordinate on the steps needed to restore the JCPOA. Now, the US is attempting to frame Iran as the obstacle to a revival of the agreement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has urged the US to take action before Iran’s June presidential elections, warning that during the transition period, policy changes will be harder to get done. But the US has signaled it is in no hurry to make a move, and according to a Politico report, the president “appears in no rush to restore the original deal.”