Leader: Iran will reverse nuclear steps if U.S. lifts all sanctions

February 7, 2021 - 14:17

TEHRAN - Leader of the Islamic Revolution said on Sunday that Iran will reverse its nuclear steps only if the United States lifts its sanctions in a way that Iran can verify them.

“Iran will return to its JCOPA obligations once the U.S. fully lifts its sanctions in action and not in words or on paper, and once the sanction relief is verified by Iran,” Ayatollah Khamenei said during a meeting with commanders, pilots, and staff members of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF).

In response to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO), Iran started to gradually decrease its commitments to the agreement. Iran took the decision on May 8, 2019, exactly one year after the Trump administration quit the nuclear deal and introduced sweeping sanctions on the Islamic Republic. 

At the time Iran said its “strategic patience” is over and told the remaining JCPOA parties, especially Europeans, if they protect Iran from sanctions Iran will reverse its decision. However, this never happened. The European side, especially Germany, France and Britain, paid lip service to the importance of keeping the JCPOA alive. 

Iran took these steps in accordance to paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which provides “a mechanism to resolve disputes and allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

In late November the Iranian parliament also passed a legislation according to which the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) is obligated to increase the level of enrichment to 20 percent and install advanced centrifuges. The AEOI started the project of enriching uranium to purity of 20 percent on January 4 under the supervision of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Organization.

The parliament has also tasked the government to suspend the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT if sanctions are not lifted by February 21.    

Trump’s abandoning of the multilateral agreement was illegal under international law as the JCPOA has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council in the form of Resolution 2231.

In his Sunday's remarks, the Leader said it was the “definitive and irreversible” policy of the Islamic Republic that the United States ought to first fully eliminate the sanctions before Iran could reverse its retaliatory measures.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has signaled a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, which was inked when he was vice president. However, his foreign policy team has said Iran should take the first step by coming back into "full compliance" with the deal, a condition Tehran says is unacceptable.
“The Americans and the Europeans have no right to set any conditions [of their own] as they violated their JCPOA commitments,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to Press TV.

The Leader adding that Iran would pay no heed to the “idle talk” of some “undeserving” American and European officials in this regard.
“They initially put some of the sanctions in abeyance for a brief period, but then reimposed and even intensified them,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in reference to Washington and its allies’ initial limited compliance with the JCPOA. 

Therefore, they have no right to come up with any conditions, the Leader reiterated.

 ‘First-class idiots’ 

Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to Washington’s past failures to hurt Iran's Islamic establishment as one of its numerous miscalculations concerning the country.

The Leader particularly recalled Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton’s failed prediction that Washington would successfully enable a "regime change" in Iran by early 2019.

“One of those very first-class idiots had said two years ago that they would be celebrating the New Year in Tehran in January 2019,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

‘Trump kicked out of the White House in humiliating manner’

“Now, that person has entered the dustbin of history and his boss (Trump) has been kicked out of the White House in a humiliating manner. By God’s grace, though, the Islamic Republic still stands tall,” the Leader noted.

The Leader also hailed the recent back-to-back military exercises featuring the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as attempts by “the children of this country to boost national security,” calling the maneuvers “a cause for pride.”

Ayatollah Khamenei, meanwhile, denounced certain regional states for relying on extra-regional sources for their own security, noting that those very same foreign powers would desert them when their assistance is required.

The Leader cited Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as examples of regional rulers who mistakenly placed their trust in foreign powers.



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