"The lifting of some sanctions can, in the true sense of the word, translate into their goodwill. Americans talk about it, but it should be known that what happens on paper is good but not enough," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said according to IRNA.
The US action came as talks in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers reached an advanced stage, with the issue of sanctions removal on focus.
The US State Department on Friday said it was waiving sanctions on Iran's civilian nuclear program in a technical step necessary to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, AFP reported.
Former president Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran, prompting the Islamic Republic a year later to begin pulling back from its commitments under the deal in retaliation.
The waiver allows other countries and companies to participate in Iran's nuclear program without triggering US sanctions on them.
Amir-Abdollahian reiterated that one of the "main issues" in the Vienna talks is obtaining guarantees that the US will not withdraw from the nuclear deal again.
"We seek and demand guarantees in the political, legal and economic sectors," he said, adding that "agreements have been reached in some areas".
The Vienna negotiations, which include Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, are at a stage where the sides have to make important "political decisions", different parties to the negotiations said last week. The US is not directly participating in the talks due to its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA.
"Our negotiating team in the Vienna talks is seriously pursuing obtaining tangible guarantees from the West to fulfill their commitments," Amir-Abdollahian said.
Earlier on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said: "Naturally, Tehran is carefully considering any action that is in the right direction of fulfilling the obligations of the JCPOA," local media reported.
“The news we hear today is about… the lifting of the nuclear-related sanctions, and everyone knows that this is not enough,” he added.
Iran’s right to nuclear energy
Iran’s top security official reacted to the US waiver on the Iranian nuclear program, calling it just a “show of lifting sanctions”.
“Real, effective and verifiable economic benefit for Iran is a necessary condition for the formation of an agreement. Show of lifting sanctions is not considered constructive,” Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani tweeted.
In an earlier tweet, Shamkhani said Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear activities along with its security cannot be curbed by any agreement.
“Iran's legal right to continue research and development and to maintain its peaceful nuclear capabilities and achievements, along with its security against supported evils, cannot be restricted by any agreement,” he said.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Vienna, on Saturday called the US waiver decision "a move in the right direction".
"It will help expedite restoration of the JCPOA and mutual return of the US and Iran to compliance with 2015 deal. It also can be seen as an indication that the Vienna Talks have entered the final stage," he said on Twitter.
Talks on reviving the nuclear deal were halted last week and the negotiators returned to their capitals for consultations.
Experts say the JCPOA talks could resume next week.
"The technical discussions facilitated by the waiver are necessary in the final weeks of JCPOA talks," a State Department official said on Friday.