- United States
President warned the United States and its allies that Iran would never accept violation of Resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council, and it is Iran’s undisputed right to exit the arms embargo soon within the framework of the resolution.
Speaking on Wednesday at the meeting of the Council of Ministers, President Hassan Rouhani said that even if Iran buys a weapon, it will be for defence purposes, and it will not be like gasoline on fire, but water on fire, by which we will put out flames and not allow tension to arise.
Parts of President Hassan Rouhani’s speech is as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
We are approaching May 8 when the unprecedented sanctions and pressures in the history of Iran and other countries have begun against the Iranian nation by an authoritarian regime.
On May 8 two years ago, US President Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in an explicit statement against all international rules and regulations violating Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council, signed the withdrawal and displayed it in front of cameras.
If we want to take a few minutes to review Iran's activities in the face of the conspiracies in the nuclear field, we negotiated with the world for two years and four months.
It took two years and four months for this process to take place, and the agreement became operational on January 2016. So, we worked for two years and four months to reach a conclusion, and this agreement was implemented for two years and four months.
These two years and four months have been very good for our country, and I think it was unprecedented in the political history of our country. Again, I would like to thank the exceptional efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Atomic Energy Organisation, and the Ministry of Defence.
What has been done means that all the resolutions that were against us have been cancelled, that is, a big case that they wanted to continue for decades - the PDM case – was closed. That is, it was revealed after a few years that under Resolution 2231, Iran’s arms embargo, which I will talk about more, would be lifted.
In the first temporary agreement in Geneva, our assets unfroze, and in these second two years and four months we actually benefited from the tireless efforts of the first two years and four months.
Our oil exports jumped from 900,000 barrels to 2.8 million barrels; all our unfinished projects in all provinces began to be completed; huge refineries, gas units, petrochemical units.
It was very difficult for the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran to see that a country is sitting alone at the negotiation table with the rest of the world and removing all the dangers that threatened Iran.
Iraq has not been removed from Chapter VII of the Security Council, but the Islamic Republic of Iran was able to pull the country out of Chapter VII in two years and four months of negotiations, and this is a political honour in Iran's history.
One of the effects of these efforts was the lifting of the arms embargo, because you know we have two periods in the JCPOA agreement, a five-year period in which the arms embargo is lifted and an 8- and 10-year period in which almost all restrictions are lifted. We are approaching the first period, which is lifting the arms embargo. What did the Americans do? On May 8, 2018, under pressure from the extremists in the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and the stubbornness that Trump had with the previous president, the United States did a very stupid thing and withdrew from this unilateral agreement.
They thought that when they left, we would leave immediately, and when we left, the case would go to the Security Council, and when it went to the Security Council, everything we got would disappear overnight.
Trump's disturbing dream did not come true because of our wisdom; on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, when Trump's speech ended, I immediately appeared in front of the camera and gave a short speech in which I condemned the United States’ action and referred to it being against international law. I said that we would stay in the agreement with P4+1 instead of P5+1, and that we would give it a few weeks to see if they can serve our interests.
Trump's first shot was missed, and he saw that it didn't work and we didn't withdraw. They became very angry at what we said.
We gave a deadline to the P4+1, we extended this deadline for a month, then we extended it for two months, and we gave them a total of one year until we reached May 8, 2019, and after a year we said that the deadline was enough; today we have given you a deadline to fulfil your obligations and since you did not fulfil it, from today we will start to reduce the obligations step by step and we said we will reduce the first part of our obligations, we said we will give you two months to return to your obligations, and in five steps we reduced all that was needed.
Now, we have withdrawn from our commitments in an equal scale. The US has fully withdrawn and 4+1 has stood back to a lot of extent; therefore, we are in an equal situation and any time they are ready to observe their full commitments under the JCPOA, we will return to the JCPOA the same day.
The United States has not succeeded in any way during these two years. It tried to persuade Europe and it was not successful, it tried to say that a new agreement should be written, which was not successful, and it tried to hold a meeting at the United Nations with Trump himself attending, but it was unsuccessful.
Today, we are at a point where the United States feels that in the coming months we will achieve a great victory under the same UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and that Iran's arms embargo will be lifted entirely. This arms embargo, which they have been building against us for years, will be completely lifted, and Iran will be able to buy the weapons it needs and will be able to export weapons.
It has only been a month or two since the Americans woke up and realised that they had made a big mistake by leaving the JCPOA, and what a great mistake they made to ruin the agreement. Now they have no way forward and no way back. If they continue this trend, the arms embargo will be lifted and Israel, Saudi Arabia, and American extremists, who forced Trump to leave the UN Security Council, will tell Trump that we have made a big mistake and if they want to do something else, or want to go back to the JCPOA and then use snapback, then there is no JCPOA anymore.
For the United States, there is no JCPOA anymore, and it is over, unless they come back and ask, we accept it, they make up for all our mistakes, and put aside all sanctions.
So what Americans are arguing about today is an integral part of the JCPOA, and if the arms embargo is to return one day under any name with any statement or mechanism, our response is the same as I wrote in the last paragraph of a letter to the leaders of the five countries, and they know well what our answer will be that day.
In a letter to the heads of the P4+1 and the five countries, I emphasised in the final paragraph that if you do this, we will do that, and they know what serious consequences would befall them if such a mistake was made. And today, I want to thank the great nation of Iran, the people were supportive during the two years and four months that we were trying, and if they were not supporting us, we would not have succeeded.
If the people did not support us, and if the Supreme Leader of the Revolution would not have guided us on JCPOA, and the parliament, the Guardian Council and the Supreme National Security Council would not have helped, we would not have achieved this goal.
In the two years and four months that we used JCPOA, it was the people who cooperated again, they used bank credits, the entrepreneurs came on the scene and a great economic transformation began in the country.
And today, the fact that we are relatively successful in fighting coronavirus, and we can compare ourselves with developed countries is because of our people’s support.
The fact that we can export our ventilators, part of our N95 masks, part of the three-layer masks, and even C.T. scan devices at some point, this is a sign of the efforts of our knowledge-based companies, a sign of our people, a sign of our engineers, a sign of the sacrifice of our nation.
Here again, I would like to emphasise that both the United States and some other countries know that Iran will not in any way accept the violation of Resolution 2231. And it is Iran’s undisputed right to exit the arms embargo soon within the framework of the resolution. Of course, whether we build weapons or buy them is for defending ourselves and nations. Our weapon is not gasoline on fire. The weapon we have is water on fire. We extinguish flames with it and do not allow flames of war or tension to arise.
So both the United States and other countries that think that their conspiracies can be effective know that this path is closed on them forever. Of course, the wise way is for the United States to repent, return to JCPOA, and apologise to the Iranian nation, pay compensation, and act. This is the best way to do it, but of course this group that is in power today will not come to such a conclusion. So let’s wait and see what will happen in the future.
Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings