TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Thursday urged the U.S. to return to its commitments under the JCPOA, the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal, reiterating Tehran’s position that the Islamic Republic will “reciprocate action by action”.
Delivering a virtual speech at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit, the Iranian president decried the U.S. sanctions on Iran, saying “In the last four years, the international community has witnessed the U.S. illegal approach and a full-scale economic war against Iran. These cruel and illegal sanctions have inflicted irreparable damage to Iran’s government and people.”
Rouhani added, “As per Iran’s wisdom and insight, the JCPOA has so far survived despite the fact that the U.S. had opted for its obliteration. The U.S., as the one who violated the deal, shall lift all sanctions and take practical steps in order to be able to return to JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran will reciprocate action by action. The return path to the JCPOA is straightforward, and if the U.S. government is determined to return, there is no need for negotiations.”
Rouhani underlines the need to operationalize ECO programs
Rouhani also underscored the necessity to operationalize the programs and decisions of ECO, suggesting a number of proposals in this regard.
The president described ECO as a priority for Iran as he highlighted the unparalleled potentials of the economic bloc’s countries.
“Economic Cooperation Organization constitutes a priority in the paradigm governing Iran’s regional and neighborhood policies. ECO enjoys invaluable potential in terms of human and natural resources, energy reserves, complementary economies, interested private sectors, and an incomparable regionally and globally transit and transport advantages. In fact, ECO meets all the requisites for being a success story of regional integration,” Rouhani said.
He added, “There have been major steps towards the enhancement of economic cooperation within ECO and precious achievements have been made. However, in certain areas such as trade, the achievements have not met expectations. Despite the high trade potential and the necessary infrastructure in place, intra-regional trade remains as low as less than 10 percent– totally unacceptable. This has also been addressed in the ECO Vision 2025.”
Rouhani told the summit that “we need to concentrate on operationalization of the ECO agreed programs and decisions with a view to accelerating the pace towards realization of the goals and objectives of the Organization.”
To this end, Rouhani suggested the following proposals:
• Implementation of ECO trade agreement as well as working out ways and means to expand intra-regional trade,
• Further activation of private sectors for the sake of trade boost,
• Strengthening and activation of the existing and new ECO agencies such as ECO Trade and Development Bank, ECO Reinsurance Company, ECO Regional Institute for Standardization (RISCAM), and ECO Chamber of Commerce,
• Removing the obstacles and challenges encountering transit and transport cooperation as the fundamental infrastructure for trade expansion.
The Iranian president added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran remains ready to actively contribute to the operationalization of the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and creating the necessary financial, banking and customs arrangements while having on board all ECO Member States. Given our geographical location, we are prepared to share our transport network as well as infrastructures and facilities along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman with ECO Members, particularly the landlocked countries, bridging them with international waters and markets.”
Rouhani highlighted the challenges facing the international community, underlining the need for regional cooperation in the post-Covid era.
“The international community is now experiencing formidable challenges which have affected all facets of human life. The COVID-19 has deeply and destructively affected economic and welfare conditions of the countries in the world. No country can afford to tackle such challenges single-handedly. Rather, it requires collective will along with joint cooperation. Accordingly, we consider very timely and promising for ECO Region the theme of this Summit, namely ‘Regional Cooperation in the post-COVID era’,” he pointed out.
According to Rouhani, in the time of the pandemic, the international community has disappointedly failed to act against unilateral measures and unlawful sanctions dragged into the realm of the fight against the disease, targeting the countries’ capabilities in their struggle against this global plague.
“The great powers’ moves in depriving other nations of fundamental rights, as well as their disrespect for international organizations, necessitate response from the likeminded countries including through strengthening cooperation and creating a united front against these challenges,” Rouhani continued.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/458819/Iran-will-reciprocate-action-by-action-Rouhani-tells-U-S