Jalal Sadatian, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, commented on the outlook which has been raised in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections and his attitude towards the JCPOA, saying: Some would say that Biden’s the United States intends to put pressure on Iran to force it to reconsider the JCPOA, while Iran has declared any negotiation on the JCPOA is its red line.

Answering the question as to why the JCPOA has been faced with such a fate, he said: Surveying the order and sequence of the withdrawal from the JCPOA shows that first the United States, during the presidency of Donald Trump, announced that it was leaving the JCPOA, and implemented the decision. Meanwhile, before that, when the JCPOA was ratified, most of the countries member in the JCPOA and beyond that also welcomed the agreement and high-level delegations from different countries visited Iran to begin their cooperation with the country.

According to Sadatian, with the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, the country did not suffice to that measure, rather it threatened other countries that if countries or companies cooperate with Iran, they will be punished and pressured by the United States. For this reason, many companies and countries that had come to cooperate with Iran withdrew and those that did not come did not proceed to cooperate with Iran for the fear of US sanctions.

The expert on international affairs, referring to the presence of Europe in the JCPOA, said: The Europeans did not fulfil their obligations despite declaring their commitment to the JCPOA, and as a result, Iran reminded them that they must fulfil their JCPOA obligations.

The expert further elaborated: The only step that Europe took was to make statements in political terms; in this regard, we witnessed that both Ms. Mogherini and the leaders of the European Troika issued statements on Iran’s compliance with its JCPOA obligations, but they did not take any specific action.

Stressing that the only task of the Europeans was to introduce the INSTEX mechanism, according to which an account would be opened and the money for the sale of Iran’s oil would be transferred to that account, and from that account, some of Iran’s needs would be met, Sadatian said: But they did not even do so, although Iran warned the Europeans that they were committed to tasks beyond INSTEX.

He continued: As a result, implementation of INSTEX remained suspended and subsequently Iran threatened European states that if they do not fulfil their commitments there is no reason why Iran should do so alone and fulfil its JCPOA obligations and they bypass the case by only issuing a statement.

According to the expert, it was under such circumstances that Iran suspended its obligations in the JCPOA in five stages and announced that if the Europeans return to their obligations, Iran will follow suit.

Emphasizing that Iran’s position today is the same, the expert on international affairs said: Iran’s officials say that if the United States returns to the JCPOA and its commitments, Iran will take back the steps it has taken. As Jake Sullivan and Joe Biden have announced this, and Iran has said that if they return to their commitments, Iran will do the same.

Referring to the two views existing in the United States on returning to the JCPOA, Sadatian continued: One view says that Iran should return to its obligations so that the United States will return, and the other view holds the idea that when the United States returns to the JCPOA the JCPOA agreement should be reconsidered and be turned into another JCPOA.

Further elaborating Iran’s position on the JCPOA, he referred to the recent remarks of the Supreme Leader and said: Recently, the Supreme Leader said that if the sanctions can be lifted, we should not delay even for an hour. Of course, the Leader had previously said that if the United States returns to the JCPOA, it would be negotiated along with other members of the JCPOA. However, the Leader had stressed that there would be no separate negotiations with the United States.

Sadatian added: The Supreme Leader’s remarks indicate that in case of the lifting of the sanctions, Iran will take its steps in reducing the JCPOA obligations back, but is not willing to renegotiate the JCPOA with the United States.

Sadatian believes that even now, following Trump’s departure and Biden’s arrival, Iran’s position is not different from the past, because they took the first step in leaving the JCPOA.

Regarding the possibility of reviewing the JCPOA and Iran’s position in this regard, he said: Iran’s position has always been that the JCPOA is the same JCPOA and there is no possibility for renegotiation; but some say that Biden, through creating consensus and imposing pressure, intends to lead Iran to another JCPOA which, given the announced positions of Iran, Russia and China, extending the JCPOA to non-nuclear issues is not possible.