Ayatollah Khamenei calls on U.S. to lift all sanctions

March 21, 2021 - 19:57

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei reiterated Iran’s position on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, calling on the United States to lift all sanctions before Iran returns to its commitments under the deal.

“Americans must remove all sanctions and then we will verify. If [the sanctions] are removed in the true sense of the word, we will return to our JCPOA commitments without any problem. This is [our] definite policy,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, referring to the nuclear deal by its acronym.

The Leader made the remarks in his annual speech on the occasion of the Persian New Year on Sunday. 

He said this policy is agreed upon by all Iranian officials and is not going to be changed. The Leader addressed the current state of play between Iran and the U.S. and the situation around the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He pointed out that the so-called “maximum pressure” policy adopted by former U.S. President Donald Trump toward Iran after leaving the JCPOA has totally failed.

“The previous fool had designed the ‘maximum pressure’ [policy] in order to corner Iran and take Iran to the negotiating table and impose his arrogant demands on a [presumably] ‘weak’ Iran. However, he disappeared [from the political scene] in such a way that both himself and his country were disgraced while the Islamic Iran is standing fast and proud,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei responded to some claims that the situation around the JCPOA has changed and that the U.S. return to the nuclear deal may require new negotiations. He said the situation has changed but not in favor of the U.S.

“Yes, conditions are now different from what they were [during Iranian calendar years 13]95 and 96; however, they have not changed in favor of the United States, but in our favor. Iran has become much stronger since 94 (2015). Therefore, if the JCPOA is going to change, it must be in Iran’s favor,” the Leader said. 

“You have been facing increasing problems and the fate of this new [U.S.] president is not clear either. We are in no hurry. Yes, we also believe that opportunities must be taken advantage of, but we will show no hurry because in some cases its risks outweigh the benefits. We acted hastily on the JCPOA,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

He also addressed the impact of the U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, saying the sanctions caused Iran to reduce dependence on others.

“Although the U.S. economic sanctions were a crime against the Iranian nation, they caused Iran to reduce dependence on other countries,” the Leader emphasized, adding that the Iranian youth have already managed to turn sanctions into an opportunity, by taking steps and producing needed goods inside the country.

“Sanctions turned into a lesson for us as they prompted us to find a way to thwart the impact of economic bans,” he continued. 
The Leader’s New Year speech came one day after he issued a message marking the end of the Iranian calendar year of 1399.

On Saturday, he congratulated the Iranian people on the occasion of the Persian New Year, calling on the government and the nation to support production and remove obstacles in this regard.

In his message, the Leader named the New Year the year of “Production: Support and the Elimination of Obstacles.”

“I have chosen this slogan for this year: ‘Production: support and the elimination of obstacles.’ This is the slogan: ‘Production: support and the elimination of obstacles.’ We should give a pivotal role to production, offer the necessary support and eliminate the obstacles,” the Leader said, according to Khamenei.ir.