Iran says it would welcome US return to nuclear deal

Campbell MacDiarmid
·2 min read
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei says Tehran would welcome the United States back to the nuclear deal - Anadolu
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei says Tehran would welcome the United States back to the nuclear deal - Anadolu

Iran has said it would welcome the United States returning to the 2015 nuclear deal following the presidential election, but only if it paid damages and offered commitments not breach the agreement again.

"We would welcome such a decision by any president," government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters in Tehran.

Donald Trump, the US president, withdrew in 2018 from the deal Iran reached with world powers over its nuclear programme, but Tehran insists it does not favour either candidate in the November 3 election.

"It makes no difference to us which president in America decides to return" to the deal, Mr Rabiei said. 

But the United States would need to "to provide other guarantees it will not repeat" the actions that led to its withdrawal.

Since withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, the United States has imposed a series of punishing economic sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to agree to a stricter deal. 

Sanctions announced earlier this month aimed to isolate Iran from the global financial system, something experts said could hinder Iran’s ability to buy food and medicine, despite exemptions for humanitarian goods. 

In the latest round announced last Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on Iranian military commanders and media outlets in response to what it said was a “brazen” attempt to interfere in the election.

With Iran’s economy collapsing and its currency declining in value, Washington "should be ready to be held responsible for the damages it has caused the people of Iran during the time it withdrew," Mr Rabiei said.

Mr Trump’s challenger Joe Biden, who is currently leading in opinion polls, supported the nuclear deal when he was vice president under Barack Obama. Mr Biden favours diplomacy with Iran.