0232 GMT February 17, 2019
Araqchi highlighted Iran’s efforts to restore calm to the terror-hit region, but said this has nothing to do with the nuclear deal it signed with the six powers, he told Reuters on Thursday on the sidelines of a Euromoney conference in Paris.
“We have always fought against terrorism. Iran has always played a key role in bringing stability and peace to the region...There is no link between the [nuclear] deal and our role in the region,” said Araqchi, who served as a senior negotiator in the talks in the run-up to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Iranian official said the United States and its European allies should ensure the 2015 nuclear deal is a success before demanding to negotiate on other issues.
“Now they ask Iran to enter discussions on other issues. Our answer is clear: Make the [deal] a successful experience and then we will discuss other issues,” he said.
The Iranian diplomat said the new US administration’s policy on Iran was “destructive” and violated the terms of the accord.
The JCPOA was clinched between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany in Vienna. It lifted nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic and, in turn, placed certain restrictions on its nuclear energy program.
While pushing hard to vilify the agreement, Washington has also been trying to portray Iran’s missile program and its regional role in a bad light. It has been trying to force Europe to join negotiations aimed at revising the accord to cover Tehran’s missile work and regional role.
Araqchi further slammed the “policies of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States,” which he said “have led to crises and wars in the Middle East.”