A senior Iranian lawmaker said Sunday the 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be revived only if sanctions imposed by the United States are lifted.
“The JCPOA is a document that will remain only with the removal of sanctions,” Alireza Zakani, who heads the Parliament’s research center, told an open secession in remarks carried by IRNA.
The landmark agreement has been unraveling since former US president Donald Trump pulled out of it in 2018 and reinstated “toughest ever” sanctions in Iran.
A year later, Iran began to drop its commitments to the JCPOA in retaliation for the US withdrawal and the inability of the European members of the deal – Britain, France and Germany – to protect the Islamic Republic against sanctions.
New US President Joe Biden has said Washington will lift draconian sanctions imposed by Trump only after Tehran reverses nuclear steps it took to protest those sanctions. Iran wants to ensure an end to sanctions before it backs down on steps away from the nuclear commitments, which included enriching uranium beyond agreed limits, AFP wrote.
Zakani stressed the “gridlock” over the JCPOA will only be broken with US scraping all sanctions.
He warned that Iran will “say goodbye to the Additional Protocol” and that observers of nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) “must leave the country” after February 21 if the US and its European allies do not rush.
Under a law passed in December by Parliament, Iran is set to stop allowing intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after February 21 unless there is an easing of US sanctions.
Iran undertook to adhere to the Additional Protocol of the NPT as part of the nuclear agreement. Under the protocol, the IAEA is allowed to carry out “more intrusive” inspections of the country’s nuclear work.