Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has offered to immediately ratify the JCPOA Additional Protocol in exchange for the immediate removal of US sanctions. Under the original 2015 JCPOA deal, the Protocol was intended to have been ratified in 2023.
Iran came up with an offer to permanently allow enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in exchange for the permanent removal of US sanctions, The Guardian reported Thursday.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif commented on the offer, calling it a “substantial move.”
“It’s not about photo ops. We are interested in substance,” he told reporters in New York on Thursday, adding that there are “other substantial moves” that can be made. “If [the Trump administration] are putting their money where their mouth is, they are going to do it. They don’t need a photo op. They don’t need a two-page document with a big signature.”
According to Zarif, the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran has yet to ratify the Additional Protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an agreement that allows the UN agency inspectors extensive access to Iranian nuclear technology as proof that the country does not have a hidden nuclear weapons program.
Under the JCPOA, the Protocol was set for ratification in 2023. The US had originally vowed to lift all sanctions imposed on Iran under the terms of the deal.
Zarif proposed instead that the two sides take this new step immediately.
“If Trump wants more for more, we can ratify the Additional Protocol and he can lift the sanctions he set,” Zarif said. “He has said that he will take any measure to Congress – fine. Lift the sanctions and you’ll have the Additional Protocol sooner than 2023.”
The US State Department has not yet commented on Zarif’s proposal.