Mar 31, 2021 05:28 UTC
  • Biden following in Trump’s footsteps, time to abandon pressure policy: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at the administration of US President Joe Biden for upholding the same pressure policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, which he himself once criticized sharply.

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Zarif shared a statement made by the US president back in June 2019, in which Biden called “sadly ironic” a demand by the State Department under the then Trump administration for Iran’s compliance with the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), one year after Trump abandoned it.

According to Press TV, in that tweet, Biden had criticized Trump for “walking away from diplomacy” and said such an attitude could lead to another “military conflict” in the already-troubled West Asia region.

Addressing Biden, Zarif said “your admin follows [in] Trump’s footsteps while trying to use his unlawful sanctions as “leverage.””

Zarif added that it is time for the Biden administration to reverse course and set aside Trump’s pressure campaign.

 “Nasty habits die hard. Time to kick this one,” the top Iranian diplomat tweeted.

"It's sadly ironic that the State Dept is now calling on Iran to abide by the very deal the Trump administration abandoned."@POTUS, 2019 Your admin follows Trump's footsteps while trying to use his unlawful sanctions as "leverage".Nasty habits die hard. Time to kick this one.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 30, 2021

The future of the JCPOA has been in doubt since May 2018, when the US under ex-President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement and imposed the “toughest ever” sanctions on Iran as part of his so-called “maximum pressure,” which tried in vain to force Iran back to the negotiating table for talks on a so-called “better deal.”

Biden, the current president of the United States, has repeatedly spoken of a willingness to rejoin the Iran deal, but, in practice, he has so far been sticking with Trump’s futile pressure campaign.

Washington says Tehran should stop the countermeasures it has been taking in line with Article 36 of the JCPO before the US returns.

Iran, however, says the US should first lift all the sanctions put in place under the Trump administration before the Islamic Republic returns to full compliance. Tehran believes it was the White House that complicated the circumstances by the pullout, which in turn prompted Iran to take the remedial measures.