U.S. refusing to lift all sanctions on Iran: report

May 5, 2021 - 18:27

TEHRAN – The United States still refusing to lift all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran and this refusal may bring Vienna's nuclear talks to a halt, according to Iran’s state TV.

The news came amid ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna over how to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). During the Vienna talks, Iran has called on the U.S. to lift all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran after signing the JCPOA. However, Press TV said that the U.S. is not considering removing all the sanctions. 

Citing an informed source on Tuesday, Press TV even said that the United States’ continued refusal to terminate all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran will definitely bring the Vienna negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal to a halt.

The source said Iran is still emphasizing the full implementation of the deal’s Article 29 and the termination of all the sanctions related to the nuclear deal and those re-imposed or relabeled during the term of ex-U.S. President Donald Trump.

“America’s insistence on not terminating these sanctions will lead to a definitive halt in the negotiations” underway in Vienna, Austria, on revitalizing the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the source said.

According to the source, as the Iranian negotiating team has repeatedly announced during the Vienna talks, all the sanctions that were imposed on the Islamic Republic under any title after the JCPOA took effect — whether during the term of Trump or that of his predecessor Barack Obama — should be removed and all the JCPOA articles should be precisely implemented.

The so-called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) as well as visa and U-turn regulations are all in violation of Article 29 of the deal, the source said.

The source said the U.S. must lift all the obstacles in the way of normalizing Iran’s trade ties with world countries in accordance with Article 29 of the JCPOA.

According to Press TV, the United States has not so far accepted to make the reforms needed to reduce the risks posed to economic and banking cooperation with Iran.

Iran believes that the U.S. refusal to remove the sanctions re-imposed under new labels on Iranian individuals and institutions on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List is tantamount to circumventing the removal of the sanctions by the U.S., which will be rejected by Tehran, the source said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has responded to the Press TV report, saying the Vienna talks would have been stopped had the U.S. insisted on keeping all the sanctions on Iran in place.
“If the United States had insisted on maintaining crippling sanctions against Iran, the talks would certainly have stalled by now,” the spokesman said. 

Nuclear negotiators from Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal held another meeting earlier this week and even made progress. 

Following the Saturday meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, it was agreed that the talks will be resumed on Friday, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

According to the statement, participants discussed the latest developments related to the discussions of the three expert groups.

“It was decided that after this meeting, the delegations would return to the capitals and that the talks would resume next Friday,” the statement continued. “The parties agree that in the next round of talks, work should continue more quickly and seriously.”

Last week, negotiators at Vienna talks announced the establishment of another expert group in addition to the existing ones. So far, the Vienna talks have resulted in the establishment of three expert-level working groups, one to identify the sanctions that the U.S. should remove in order to return to the JCPOA, and another to specify the nuclear activities that Iran should reverse. The third group was set up recently and is called “Expert Group on Practical Arrangements,” which is formed with the aim of holding talks on the practical arrangements required for the removal of sanctions and then the U.S. return to the JCPOA.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s chief negotiator for the nuclear deal talks, had said that these groups held bilateral and multilateral meetings to announce positions and study draft texts.

On Monday, Khatibzadeh said the two sides have drafted two texts about sanctions removal and the nuclear issue and they are ironing out the disputes. He also underlined again that all the U.S. sanctions on Iran should be lifted. 

Speaking at a weekly press conference on Monday, the spokesman said, “We believe that all the sanctions that Trump has imposed on Iran are related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and all of them aimed at destroying the JCPOA and preventing Iran from benefiting from the deal.”

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