US Owes Iran Compensation For Nuclear Deal Pullout - Zarif

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st September, 2020) The United States must compensate Tehran for losses incurred after Washington unilaterally pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) governing the country's nuclear program, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Monday.

"The United States withdrew from the JCPOA without any reason - it incurred a lot of damages on the Iranian people," Zarif said during a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) virtual meeting. "I think it is the United States that has show[n] it is committed to [the JCPOA]... that it will compensate Iran for the damages."

On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would unilaterally re-impose UN sanctions on Iran for "non-performance of its JCPOA commitments." The other JCPOA signatories and the UN Security Council have rejected the US move.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has vowed to return the US to the Iran nuclear deal if elected. However, Iran's top diplomat said that Tehran's position is not predicated on who occupies the White House following the election.

Zarif ruled out further negotiations with any US administration about alterations to the JCPOA, saying that the deal in place is fair and that Iran made concessions to agree to it. The foreign minister added that Iran will not allow itself to be "bullied" into a worse deal through power politics, should the US come back to the table.

Tehran has condemned the US' unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA arguing the newly imposed sanctions are having a humanitarian impact on the 83-million nation with Washington blocking Iranian payments for things like medicine leading to crippling shortages.

In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with Russia, China, France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It required that Iran scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption. In 2018, the United States abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran.

Earlier this year, the US tried to campaign for the restoration of international sanctions on Iran, specifically, an extension to the arms embargo, but all of its draft resolutions ended up being rejected.