President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called on the United States to return to the 2015 nuclear deal and abandon its “plots” against the Islamic Republic.
Speaking at a ceremony in the northwestern province of Ardebil, Rouhani implied that Tehran is ready for talks with the US once Washington begins to fulfill its obligations under the international agreement.
“Whenever they (the Americans) back off from the point they started their plots, we are ready too. They need to return to the commitments they trampled on and admit to their mistakes regarding the Iranian nation,” he said.
Rouhani noted that the US maximum pressure campaign on Iran was aimed at “smashing the grandeur of the nation and forcing the country to surrender”.
“This is impossible. The enemies should repent for their wrong acts,” he stressed.
“You are not a superior nation and government for the nation and the government of Iran. We respect your nation and strongly protest against your government. However, we state that there is a way back.”
Rouhani further pointed out that Iran will continue its forward march despite US sanctions and pressure, thanks to the nation’s “highly vibrant morale”.
Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since May last year, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal.
Iran has rejected negotiating a new deal with the Trump administration, saying talks were only possible if Washington returned to the nuclear pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and lifted sanctions.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia, and China – plus Germany (P5+1) signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Since May 2019, Iran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
Its latest step came in November when engineers began feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into mothballed enrichment centrifuges at the underground Fordo plant south of Tehran.