Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that the US must show good will by returning to the Iran nuclear deal, then Tehran will show full compliance with the terms outlined in the 2015 deal.
Zarif also said that US economic sanctions imposed on Iran are a “crime against humanity” that must be lifted. US outgoing President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
Iran has been accused of violating terms of the JCPOA and stockpiling nuclear material. However, Iran maintains that it has never sought nuclear weapons and never would. It says its nuclear work only has civilian aims.
Yesterday, Iran enacted a law that orders uranium enrichment to be ramped up beyond the limits set in the deal if sanctions are not eased in a month.
The new law also requires the Iranian government to halt UN inspections of its nuclear sites.
The move follows the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran has blamed Israel for the strike.
Iran has become increasingly isolated under the Trump administration’s maximum pressure sanctions campaign against Tehran, but Zarif said that his country is willing to engage with its Gulf neighbors to secure peace in the region, adding that he is sure that Iran’s neighbors will want to reengage with Tehran once Trump leaves office.
Finally, he said that Tehran is “categorically ready” to exchange more prisoners with Iranians jailed abroad. Last week, British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert who was held in prison for 804 days in Iran returned to Australia in a prisoner swap that saw three jailed Iranians who were held in Thailand.