Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif categorically dismissed the idea of any new negotiations on the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal during the tenure of the next US president.
“Under no circumstances” would Tehran consider renegotiating the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said in an interview with the CBS News.
While Joe Biden’s camp has signaled that, if he wins, his administration would attempt to renegotiate the JCPOA, the Iranian foreign minister emphasized that Tehran has no plans for any talks.
“If we wanted to do that (renegotiate), we would have done it with President Trump four years ago,” Zarif told CBS News.
“The statements by the Biden camp have been more promising, but we will have to wait and see,” he noted.
Zarif stressed, however, that it’s not what the new US administration says during the campaign that counts, but what it does in office.
“What is important for us is how the White House behaves after the election, not what promises are there, what slogans are made. The behavior of the US is important. If the US decides to stop its malign behavior against Iran, then it will be a different story no matter who sits in the White House,” the top Iranian diplomat added.
“We can find a way to reengage, obviously. But reengagement does not mean renegotiation… It means the US coming back to the negotiating table,” he underlined.
Zarif also noted that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign had failed.
“It has hurt Iran. But it hasn’t brought the type of political change that the US desired — be it regime change, which was the desire of a certain segment of the current US administration, or what President Trump wanted, which was to bring Iran to its knees so that he could dictate his terms of negotiations,” he noted.
“I know that Vice President Biden understands that that won’t happen (renegotiate the terms of the nuclear deal), and may act differently,” Zarif stated.
Zarif then categorically denied the allegations raised by US intelligence agencies that Iran obtained US voter registration information and used it to try to erode confidence in the American election process.
Rejecting any interference by Iran, Zarif called Trump “the single person who is making the most important and effective affront against the US electoral system.”
Anyone interested in undermining US democracy “will just ask President Trump to continue talking about forgeries and inconsistencies in mail-in ballots and all sorts of other stuff,” Zarif added.