TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Zarif made the remarks at a gathering of Iranians in the German capital, Berlin, on Monday, referring to the nuclear accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Tehran and the P5+1 states – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany.
The Iranian nuclear negotiators, Zarif added, only reflected the nation’s will during the discussions with the six other states in the lead-up to the nuclear accord, stressing that the Islamic Republic should be proud of its people.
“They (world powers) did not want Iran to be in possession of even a single centrifuge,” he added, making a reference to former US president Barack Obama’s remarks in 2013, when he wished he could have prevented the Islamic Republic’s entire nuclear program.
“If I had an option, if we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, I would take it,” he said, then added, “But that particular option is not available,” Obama said.
The JCPOA was inked in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016.
Under the deal, which was later endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Elsewhere in his comments, the top Iranian diplomat praised the nation’s history of resistance in the face of sanctions and enemy pressure, saying the Iranian people stood firm during the former Iraqi regime’s eight-year war in the 1980s and greatly contributed to the post-war reconstruction.
At a time when a dreadful wave of violence is wreaking havoc on nations in the region, Iran owes its calm to its people, he added.
Zarif also stressed that the Iranian nation believes “security and progress could only be attained in a secure and developed region,” adding, “Those who try to reach security by eliminating that of others have gained nothing but insecurity and humiliation.”