Rouhani calls on Biden administration to return to Iran nuclear deal: ‘The ball is in the US court now’

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called on President-elect Joe Biden’s administration to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, noting that “The ball is in the U.S. court now.”

Rouhani in remarks ahead of Biden’s inauguration urged the U.S. to rejoin the nuclear agreement and end sanctions on Iran implemented by the “tyrant” President Trump. Biden has expressed an openness to rejoin the deal if Tehran returns to compliance with the requirements of the agreement, which Rouhani indicated the country would do.

“The ball is in the U.S. court now. If Washington returns to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, we will also fully respect our commitments under the pact,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting, Reuters reported.

“Today, we expect the incoming U.S. administration to return to the rule of law and commit themselves, and if they can, in the next four years, to remove all the black spots of the previous four years,” he added.

“Tyrant Trump’s political career and his ominous reign are over today and his ‘maximum pressure’ policy on Iran has completely failed,” Rouhani said. “Trump is dead but the nuclear deal is still alive.”

Iran has responded to the Trump administration’s 2018 departure from the Obama-era deal, which was designed to prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons, by publicly breaking the agreement’s requirements. But Iranian officials have said those actions are reversible if the U.S. removes the economic sanctions against Tehran.

Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick for the secretary of State, said during his Tuesday confirmation hearing that the U.S. would not rush a decision on whether to return to the 2015 agreement. But Blinken said the administration’s first priority is to limit Iran’s ability to create a nuclear weapon. 

During the hearing, Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also pressed the administration to respond to Iran’s other transgressions, including human rights abuses and its ballistic missile program.

The United Nations’s nuclear watchdog released a report last week that found Iran was developing equipment to produce uranium metal in a violation of the nuclear deal with several countries.

Tags Antony Blinken biden administration Biden transition Donald Trump Iran Iran nuclear deal Iran nuclear weapons Joe Biden nuclear deal Nuclear weapons

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