Araqchi: Lifting sanctions only path for U.S. to rejoin JCPOA

February 13, 2021 - 18:25
‘America’s return to JCPOA will make sense only when it practically leads to lifting of sanctions’

TEHRAN - Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs, says the new U.S. administration must lift the sanctions on Tehran in a verifiable manner in order to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

According to the Tasnim news agency, Araqchi emphasized if the U.S. wants “Iran to resume its commitments under the JCPOA, the White House must lift the sanctions that the administration of former president Donald Trump placed on Iran, including those stipulated in the deal and the bans imposed on the country under new pretexts.”

“The U.S. must remove the sanctions in full, not in words or on paper, but in practice,” Araqchi told the official website of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in an interview published on Friday.

“We will verify that, and whenever we feel the sanctions are lifted in a proper manner, we will, for our part, return to our commitments” under the nuclear agreement, said Araqchi, a top nuclear negotiator.

Araqchi noted that “America’s return to the JCPOA matters to us only when that will lead to the lifting of sanctions,” adding, “This is a completely rational position. What we are currently doing… is a reaction to the measures the U.S. has adopted.”

“Naturally, if America wants to be a member of the JCPOA again, it must meet all its obligations. If it is going to return and not fulfill its obligations, in our opinion, the U.S. has basically not returned and its membership has not been fulfilled,” he remarked.

The top diplomat underlined, “For verification, the effect of lifting sanctions must be seen in practice. According to the JCPOA, they are obliged to lift their own sanctions; now some of the sanctions should be lifted and some should be stopped due to their technical features.”

He added, “What matters to us are the impacts of the lifting of sanctions, not necessarily the lifting of sanctions.”

The senior diplomat said what is important is that Iran should be able to sell oil and receive its money.

“It is important that our oil to be sold and that the problems related to transportation, insurance, and all its side issues be solved. In fact, our oil reaches the buyer and we can receive the money of the sold oil through the banks,” he explained. 
Pointing to the fact that Americans are addicted to sanctions, he said, “Sanctions have become their main tool in global relations. They impose sanctions not only against Iran but also against everyone.” 

In response to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Iran has taken some remedial measures in accordance to paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which has “provided 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.”

Iran took such gradual remedial measures exactly one year after the Trump administration abandoned the nuclear deal in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which endorsed the 2015 nuclear pact.

By pulling out of the JCPOA, the Trump administration introduced the harshest ever sanctions against Iran in line with its “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

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