By Ali Murat Alhas,
Ankara: An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday called on the U.S. to return to a landmark nuclear deal from which it withdrew earlier this year.
Speaking on Iranian state television, ministry spokesman Bahram Qasimi said that returning to the nuclear deal would be “the best option” for the U.S.
“I hope the U.S. views Iran — and the region in general — in a positive light and doesn’t repeat its past mistakes as the situation in the Middle East is very sensitive,” he said.
Noting that U.S. President Donald Trump would be unable to implement all of his planned policies, Qasimi said the U.S. had become “isolated” as a result of its decision to withdraw from the agreement.
EU countries, he said, thanks to their close ties with the U.S., should work to correct Trump’s Iran policy and advise him on Asia and the Middle East policymaking.
Russia and China, he added, should also work on convincing the U.S. president to remain a party to the nuclear deal.
“What Trump must understand… is that returning to the nuclear agreement is his best option,” Qasimi asserted.
“What’s more, the U.S. should abandon its sanctions policy, because such political maneuvering only hurts its reputation,” he said.
In mid-2015, Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
The agreement placed tight restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
In May of this year, however, Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, which he had earlier described as the “worst deal ever”.
The move drew widespread criticism among the agreement’s other signatories.
Washington then re-imposed sanctions on Iran, which primarily target the country’s banking sector.
The sanctions are intended to hinder Tehran’s acquisition of U.S. currency; its precious metals trade; bank transactions denominated in Iranian currency; activities related to Iran’s sovereign debt; and the country’s automotive sector.