Iran’s security chief sets conditions for agreement in Vienna

February 5, 2022 - 22:30

TEHRAN— In a tweet on Saturday afternoon, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) dismissed the recent move by the United States State Department to partially waive some sanctions on Iran’s civil nuclear program.

“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. #ViennaTalks,” tweeted Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the SNSC secretary.

On February 4 the Biden administration restored partial sanctions relief to Iran’s nuclear program. The move comes as discussions to lift all sanctions imposed on Iran have reached a critical juncture.

A senior State Department official told Reuters that the waiver would assist technical discussions in the last weeks of the talks, but that it was not an indication that Washington was close to strike an agreement to return to the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The waiver with respect to these activities is designed to facilitate discussions that would help to close a deal on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the groundwork for Iran’s return to performance of its JCPOA commitments,” a State Department notice to Congress reads, according to official documents obtained by the Associated Press.

According to the AP report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has signed several sanctions waivers related to Iran’s civilian nuclear activities. 

At the same time, the Washington Post reported that the move would also facilitate the cooperation of companies from Russia, China, and Europe with the non-military sectors of Iran’s nuclear program under the terms of the 2015 deal.

The State Department waivers will specifically allow foreign countries and companies to work on civil projects at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power facility, Arak heavy water plant, and Tehran Research Reactor.

According to one senior State Department official knowledgeable with the waivers who spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity, the action is not a “concession” to Iran and is being made “in our essential national interest as well as the region’s and the world’s.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday that the move was “good, but not enough.”

Leave a Comment

6 + 11 =