Iran affirmed on Saturday its refusal to return to negotiate its nuclear program, calling on Washington and Western capitals to respect the existing agreement, and at the same time escalated its rhetoric against France, which demanded the participation of Saudi Arabia in the talks.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that “the nuclear agreement is a multilateral international agreement ratified by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and it is not negotiable, and the parties to it are clear and not subject to change.”
He added that activating the nuclear agreement is easy and requires Washington to return to it and lift its sanctions.
It is noteworthy that Iran began to exceed the limits permitted in uranium enrichment under the nuclear agreement after Washington withdrew from it in 2018 during the era of former US President Donald Trump, and re-imposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
But the new administration of US President Joe Biden has made clear that it will rejoin the agreement, provided that Tehran returns to fully comply with its conditions.
Saudi Arabia and France
Israel and Arab and Western powers are calling for a new renegotiation of the Iranian nuclear program, and for the inclusion of new parties in the talks and their expansion to include Tehran’s missile program.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that any new talks must include Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said that the Arab Gulf states should, this time, participate in any talks.
Saudi Arabia demanded that the negotiations address the Iranian ballistic missile program and “Tehran’s support for proxies throughout the Middle East.”
Macron stressed the need to avoid what he described as the mistake of excluding other countries in the region when negotiating the 2015 agreement.
It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia has supported Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Macron said that any new talks on the nuclear deal with Iran would be very “strict”, and that the time remaining to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon was very limited.
But Khatib Zadeh demanded that Macron “show restraint.”
“If the French officials are concerned about their huge arms sales to the Arab Gulf states, it is better for them to reconsider their policies,” he added.
“We call on the French president to stop issuing hasty and ill-considered positions,” he said.
The Iranian official added that “French weapons – along with other Western weapons – not only cause the massacre of thousands of Yemenis, but are also the main cause of instability in the region.”