Envoy: Right to retaliate US’ wrongful moves preserved for Iran

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Saturday that Tehran preserves its right to retaliate the US wrongful acts against its economy, adding that Europe’s mere political support without practical moves is totally insufficient.

Commenting on US recent acts such as ending waivers on Iran oil imports, Takht Ravanchi told the Islamic republic news agency that the issue is being under scrutiny by Iranian officials to take reciprocal actions.

Elaborating on Europe’s approach with regard to preserving Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he said that merely political support will not be sufficient.

He urged European countries to take action to remove the obstacles in the way of Iranian trade ties with the outside world.

Launching the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is good in itself, he said adding that it should show practically that it would be able to sideline US sanctions.

The INSTEX was adopted by foreign ministers of the European trio on the sidelines of a European Union summit in the Romanian capital Bucharest on January 1.

The INSTEX has been registered at the address of France’s Economy and Finance Ministry in Paris. German banker Per Fischer has been chosen for a period of six months to run it.

Referring to the United Nations’ capacities, Takht-e Ravanchi said Tehran will take advantage of capacities of the international organizations to advance its national agenda.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iranian envoy pointed to following up multilateralism and diplomacy for peace on agenda of his mission, saying that unilateralism is in contrast with Iran’s national interests.

He said that Iran would hold consultations with members of the UN Security Council on US illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA.

In reaction to Iranian Foreign Minister’s position toward Team-B (including US National Security Advisor John R. Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman and Bin Zayed), Takht Ravanchi said some in the US and some others in the region are trying to promote Iranophobia.

He added that they try to wage war in the region to achieve their short-term interests.
Earlier, Zarif in a Twitter message criticized US for keeping silent toward Saudi execution of 37 men, saying being a member of Bolton, Bin Salman, Bin Zayed and Netanyahu team gives immunity for atrocity crimes.

“After a wink at the dismembering of a journalist, not a whisper from the Trump administration when Saudi Arabia beheads 37 men in one day—even crucifying one two days after Easter,” he said.

He added, “Membership in the B_team —Bolton, Bin Salman, Bin Zayed & ‘Bibi’— gives immunity for any crime.”

Unfortunately, some countries in our region think that they will meet their interests if they move against Iran.

Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday that the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers might die any moment now, warning that the US efforts to ruin an international treaty has damaged Tehran’s trust in any international agreement.

Speaking during a visit to Turkey for Iran-Turkey political consultations, Araqchi said that Tehran’s patience with the US is wearing thin.

“Iran has given enough chances to diplomacy, but enough is enough,” Araqchi who was the second lead negotiator during the nuclear talks with the world powers said, and warned, “Unfortunately, the JCPOA has come very very close to its end.”

He said his country would definitely take action against the US campaign of intensifying pressures on Iran that also includes efforts to zero down the country’s crude sales.

He said the JCPOA is a security deal involving the entire world, and lamented that “the US financial system has cast a shadow on everyone”.

The diplomat reiterated that the agreement was clinched between Iran and 5+1 Group of countries (Russia, China, France, the US, the UK, and Germany), but in principal it is an accord belonging to the global community.

Reiterating that the JCPOA is the sole diplomatic success of the region, Araqchi said that US exit from the deal reduced Iran’s trust in the international deals, as the US is seeking to destroy the only regional diplomatic achievement.

Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that his country could use withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as an option in response to Washington’s heightened pressures and sanctions.

“The Islamic Republic’s choices are numerous, and officials are studying them…leaving the NPT is one of them,” Zarif said in an interview with the state TV on Sunday.

The Americans proved that they are not a reliable negotiating partner, he said, adding, “In this case, the only way left for Iran is to counter the US sanctions, which would then lead to decreasing our reliance on oil, increasing our non-oil revenues, and boosting domestic production and non-oil exports.”

Zarif referred to the EU’s trade mechanism (INSTEX) and Iran’s expectations from the European side, and said, “The Europeans had a whole year, and regrettably took no tangible measure. We expect them to prove that this hasn’t been the case. I don’t think they have much time left.”

The Iranian top diplomat also said that he would make official visits to Russia and North Korea in the near future.

Back in December, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi once again warned that his country enjoys the capability to restore 20-percent uranium enrichment if the nuclear deal is discarded by parties still remaining under the agreement.

Salehi said that under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran accepted to put confidence-building curbs on its nuclear program, but they do not obstruct the “peaceful activities of Iran’s nuclear industry”.

“Enrichment is currently underway, but we would put aside the 300kg limit (set by the nuclear agreement) whenever we wish, and would do the enrichment at any volume and level,” he said in an interview with state TV on the sidelines of a visit to the Fordo nuclear facility.

“We currently have 1,044 centrifuges in Fordo, and if the establishment wants, we will restart 20-percent uranium enrichment in Fordo,” he noted.

Europeans’ honesty in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal is seriously doubted by Iranian masses that are discontent with talks with European counterparts.

In contrast with what European politicians and government are stating, many experts in Iran are suspicious of Europe’s genuine commitment to the letters of the nuclear agreement of July 14, 2015, and are voicing their discontent with what they describe as Europe’s strategy of killing time.

Even some commentators like Seyed Mostafa Khoshchashm are calling the Iranian government to start meaningful modifications in JCPOA undertakings, and specially remove the cap on the country’s enriched uranium stockpile after the US unilateral withdrawal from the agreement; a call which is gaining momentum among the Iranians.

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