News ID: 301823
Published: 0312 GMT April 03, 2021

Iran rules out ‘step-by-step’ lifting of sanctions

Iran rules out ‘step-by-step’ lifting of sanctions

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Saturday ruled out any “step-by-step” lifting of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic under former US president Donald Trump.

"As has been clearly stated many times, no step-by-step plan is being considered," Khatibzadeh told Press TV.

“The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all US sanctions, whether those which Trump reimposed after withdrawing from the JCPOA or those which he initiated, as well as sanctions imposed under any other heading," he said.

"Obviously, this lifting of sanctions must be effective and must be verified by Iran," Khatibzadeh added.

He was apparently responding to remarks by US State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter about a planned meeting by representatives of Iran and world powers in Vienna Tuesday to discuss the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.

Restoring the nuclear agreement would be a major step, nearly three years after Trump scrapped it and reinstated and reinforced tough sanctions, prompting Iran to take a series of "remedial" measures in retaliation for the decision. 

Porter said Friday that the discussion would focus on “the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the terms of the JCPOA”, using initials for what is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In the talks, American officials would be down the hall while and the European Union, British, German, French, Chinese and Russian officials meet with Iran.

And that would be joined with discussion of “the sanctions relief steps that the United States would need to take in order to return to compliance, as well,” Porter said, an acknowledgment that the United States is currently in violation of the accord.

Khatibzadeh stressed that "the suspension of Iran's remedial measures and their reversal will take place only after the lifting of all sanctions and its verification" by the Islamic Republic.

In a tweet on Friday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the aim of the Vienna session would be to “rapidly finalize sanction-lifting & nuclear measures for choreographed removal of all sanctions, followed by Iran ceasing remedial measures”.

"No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary,” he added Friday.

American officials have said they were willing to meet directly with the Iranians, but the Iranian government has insisted on working through the Europeans, a stance which Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi reiterated Friday.

“We only negotiate with the members of the JCPOA. The parties that are now known as the P4+1 will be our negotiating partners. They can talk to the other sides as they wish. We have no direct or indirect dialogue with the Americans,” he said.

Araqchi’s remarks came after a videoconference of the JCPAO signatories on Friday.

In a statement, the EU said that participants in the Tuesday session would “clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures, including through convening meetings of the relevant expert groups".

The EU said mediators “will also intensify separate contacts in Vienna with all JCPOA participants and the United States".

Senior EU diplomat Enrique Mora, who chaired the virtual talks on Friday due to Brussels' capacity of coordinator, described the meeting as "positive", but warned there was much left to do to revive the deal.

"Substantial work ahead for a key opportunity to bring JCPOA back to life," he tweeted.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, also said that "the impression is that we are on the right track, but the way ahead will not be easy and will require intensive efforts. The stakeholders seem to be ready for that”.

A “possible US return to JCPOA apparently will require full Washington’s compliance with the nuclear deal” and a UN Security Council resolution that endorses the accord, he tweeted.  


France demand

Meanwhile, France on Saturday called on Iran to show a constructive stance in the upcoming talks.

Following a call with Zarif, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that he had asked Iran to refrain from further steps away from its current nuclear commitments to aid discussions, according to Reuters.

“I encouraged Iran to be constructive in the discussions that are set to take place,” Le Drian said. “They are meant to help identify in the coming weeks the steps that will be needed in order to return to full compliance with the nuclear deal.”



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