During an interview on Saturday night, Mohammad Marandi said Iran was not the party that withdrew from the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), emphasizing that the three European countries (France, Britain, and Germany) obediently follow the policies of whoever is in the White House.
He added that Iran knows that any possible accord will fail unless the Western countries put an end to their false accusations against Tehran.
Marandi noted that the European troika and Washington are aware of the peacefulness of the Iranian nuclear program, stressing that Iran wants to reach an agreement that would secure its rights.
During the interview with the Lebanese Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, he continued, “We cannot trust the Americans and Europeans,” highlighting that “the three European countries are all allies of the United States. They are not neutral, and we should not be deceived by their propaganda.”
Marandi also took a swipe at Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, stating that he “stands with Europeans and Americans, and is submissive to them."
The advisor to the Iranian negotiating team went on to say that a European official once confirmed during the course of JCPOA revival negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna that Iran's demands are rightful, but “the Americans are the ones who are delaying and procrastinating” the talks.
Marandi stressed that Iran is “ready to sign the agreement,” noting that “the Europeans need the agreement more than Iran, because of their need for gas.”
On the issue of Iranian natural gas, he told al-Mayadeen that “Iran sells its gas and oil, and is able to obtain financial revenues,” adding that “the longer the agreement is delayed, the bigger the problem for Europe would be because it wants gas as the winter is approaching.”
The European energy crisis comes as tensions persist between Russia and the West over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Natural gas prices have soared in Europe to all-time highs since the West began unleashing waves of sanctions against Moscow.
Ever since, Russia’s Gazprom has drastically reduced its gas deliveries to Europe, saying that the anti-Russia sanctions have blocked the delivery of a turbine needed to stream gas to Europe via pipeline.
'A weak Biden'
As for the United States, Marandi said, “US President Joe Biden is weak, and suffers from internal and economic problems before the midterm elections.”
Marandi added that “the Europeans have no problem in reaching an agreement, but rather the problem lies with weak Biden [administration].”
On Saturday, Iran slammed the latest "unconstructive and ill-considered" statement issued by the three European signatories to the JCPOA, saying they must accept the consequences if it continues to follow Israel’s lead.
“It is regrettable that by [issuing] such an ill-considered statement, the three European countries have followed in the footsteps of the Zionist regime down a path that will lead to the failure of negotiations,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said.
'US's support for terrorists'
Marandi also condemned Washington over its support for the terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) that has been hosted by Albania since 2016, stating that its members have been carrying out attacks against Iran.
On Wednesday, Albania, which has for years hosted the anti-Iran MKO terrorists in collusion with the US, severed diplomatic ties with Tehran, accusing it of orchestrating a July “cyberattack” against Tirana.
Kan’ani identified the United States, the Israeli regime, and the MKO as the “third parties” that have propelled Tirana into taking the decision.
E3 joint statement 'very untimely': Russia
Russia's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, described the latest statement issued by three major European powers about Iran as “very untimely”.
“Very untimely indeed. Right at a critical moment at the #ViennaTalks and on the eve of the session of the #IAEA Board of Governors,” Ulyanov, who also leads the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal, wrote in a tweet.
In a press release on Saturday, France, Britain, and Germany raised serious doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPOA, claiming that Tehran's position contradicts its legally binding obligations and jeopardizes prospects of restoring the nuclear deal.
The European trio said they have "negotiated with Iran, in good faith, since April 2021, to restore and fully implement" the JCPOA, along with other participants to the deal and the United States.
The United States, under former president Donald Trump, abandoned the agreement in May 2018 and reinstated unilateral sanctions that the agreement had lifted.
The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April last year, months after Joe Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington's seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.
Despite notable progress, the US indecisiveness and procrastination caused multiple interruptions in the marathon talks.