Tehran, Iran – Iran’s nuclear deal can be restored without negotiations despite recent escalations following the assassination of a top nuclear scientist, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has told world powers.
Rouhani said United States President Donald Trump “scribbled on a piece of paper” in May 2018, unilaterally withdrawing from the nuclear deal.
“The next person can put up a nice piece of paper and sign it and it just needs a signature, we’ll be back where we were. It takes no time and needs no negotiations,” Rouhani said in a televised cabinet speech on Wednesday.
“And it’s not just about the US. The P4+1 can return to all their commitments and we will do the same,” he said in reference to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia, the other signatories of the nuclear deal.
US President-elect Joe Biden and Europe have signalled that while they wish to restore the nuclear deal, they believe it needs to be renegotiated and extended.
Exactly a year after the US pulled out of the landmark deal and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, Tehran gradually scaled back its commitments under the deal in five steps that it said are reversible.
Rouhani said all the new advanced centrifuges that are being installed at the Natanz underground nuclear facilities can be switched off once all the signatories of the nuclear deal start fully implementing their commitments.
Earlier this week, France, Germany and the UK – together known as the E3 – issued a joint statement saying Iran’s plans for a further reduction of nuclear commitments are “deeply worrying” and go against the spirit of the accord.
Members of Iranian forces carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a funeral ceremony in Tehran [File: West Asia News Agency/Handout via Reuters]Following the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh outside Tehran last month, the Iranian parliament, dominated by conservatives and hardliners, quickly passed a bill that aims to increase uranium enrichment and expel inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Rouhani administration has explicitly said it opposes the legislation and was not consulted in its drafting.