Iran’s president urges Biden to return to nuclear deal

Iranian presiden Hassan Rouhani
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Iran’s president has called on US president-elect Joe Biden to “compensate for past mistakes” and return the US to Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a state-run news agency reported. Hassan Rouhani’s comments mark the highest-level response from Iran to Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris clinching the November 3 election.

“Opportunity”

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted him as saying:

Now, an opportunity has come up for the next US administration to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar
Tehran’s Grand Bazaar (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Under Donald Trump, tensions between the US and Iran have escalated, reaching fever-pitch earlier this year. One of Trump’s signature foreign policy moves was unilaterally withdrawing the US from Iran’s nuclear deal in 2018, which had seen Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

The US has since reimposed punishing sanctions on Iran that have crippled its economy, which was further battered by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. In an effort to pressure Europe to find a way around the sanctions, Iran has slowly abandoned the limits of the nuclear deal.

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“Deeds matter most”

Rouhani said:

The people of Iran, through their heroic resistance against the imposed economic war, proved that the US maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail

He added Iran “considers constructive engagement with the world as a strategy”.

Also on 8 November, Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted that “the world is watching” to see if the new Biden administration would depart from Trump’s approach towards Iran and seek international co-operation.

“Deeds matter most,” Zarif added.

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