US Must Lift Sanctions Before Tehran Rejoins Nuclear Deal: Iran

By Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
February 8, 2021 Updated: February 8, 2021

The leader of Iran’s Islamic regime said if the United States wants the regime to “return to its commitments” and rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, it must lift economic sanctions.

“Iran has fulfilled all its obligations under the deal, not the United States and the three European countries. … If [the United States] want Iran to return to its commitments, the United States must in practice … lift all sanctions,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during a meeting, according to state TV.

“Then, after verifying whether all sanctions have been lifted correctly, we will return to full compliance. … It is the irreversible and final decision, and all Iranian officials have consensus over it.”

President Joe Biden said he isn’t planning to comply with Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran.

Biden replied with a plain “no” after CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell asked him on Feb. 5 if the United States will lift sanctions first.

Then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order that provides an “authority to counter Iran’s conventional arms acquisitions, Iran’s indigenous manufacturing programs, and Iran’s ability to support paramilitary organizations with arms and materiel,” the State Department said in a September 2020 statement.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House on Feb. 5, 2021. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

Besides the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union joined the agreement in 2015, which was intended to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear arms.

The Trump administration unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, saying the pact had failed to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons and allowed the Iranian regime to support terrorist activities internationally.

Biden, by contrast, while campaigning as the Democratic presidential nominee, expressed a willingness to revive the deal.

In September 2020, he wrote in an essay for CNN that “if Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.”

Tehran has already breached the deal’s key limits by building up its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, refining uranium to a higher level of purity, and using advanced centrifuges for enrichment.

In January, the Islamic Republic stated that it has resumed 20 percent uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear site, well above the deal’s limit but far short of the 90 percent that is weapons-grade.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From NTD News