A report in Al Jazeera, a news source based in Qatar, cited Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, as claiming that sanctions imposed by the US caused one trillion dollars of damage to his country’s economy. Zarif said that as part of the negotiations with the Biden administration to reestablish the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran will expect compensation for these damages.
“When we meet, we will raise compensation,” Zarif said in an interview with the Iranian state-owned news network PressTV. “Whether those compensations will take the form of reparation, or whether they take the form of investment, or whether they take the form of measures to prevent a repeat of what Trump did.”
According to Zarif, Trump reimposed 800 sanctions that were put on Iran before the nuclear deal and imposed 800 new ones, all of which need to be lifted before the US can return to the deal.
Zarif emphasized that Iran did not need the JCPOA or the lifting of sanctions in order to continue its nuclear program.
“We got what we wanted out of the JCPOA; the end of [United Nations] Security Council resolutions. End of US lies about our nuclear program,” he said. He claimed that Iran is the only country in the world to have its right to enrich uranium recognized by a UN Security Council resolution.
The Iranian Parliament passed a law in December making snap inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) illegal.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported this week that the director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations of Iran and former diplomat Amir Mousavi said that Iran would not give up any of its conditions for a return to the JCPOA but U.S. President Biden would.
“All the signs show that Biden will come towards Iran in submission, and he will sign the agreement in line with the Iranian conditions. Iran will not give up any of its conditions, but Biden will. First of all, Biden right now is a confounded U.S. President,” Mousavi told Iraqiya TV (Iraq). “He is facing three destructive crises: There is still a domestic rift, there is still the coronavirus pandemic, and there is an economic crisis. He wants to get away from the Middle East for many reasons.”
The report in Al Jazeera comes as a report in the New York Post claimed that officials with ties to Biden met several years ago with Iranian officials to “undermine” Trump.” In addition, The Washington Times reported one of the meetings was between Zarif and Robert Malley, who now is Biden’s special envoy for Iran policy. It took place in 2019 after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal. The report noted former Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged he met with Zarif in the first few years of Trump’s presidency, as did Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.