Iran: US JCPOA return hinges on removal of sanctions

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has once more reiterated the need for the US to remove all illegal anti-Tehran sanctions before its return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

“The US should know that it is not a member of the nuclear deal and cannot attribute comments to other signatories to the agreement or have demands [from them],” said the Ministry’s Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh during his weekly presser on Monday.

He was referring to the recent comments by Jake Sullivan the US national security advisor, who said that the US would return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Iran does so.

“[US officials] should not forget that they should remove illegal sanctions imposed during the Trump administration and those added under Biden.”

He stressed that the path to the United States’ return to the nuclear deal is clear and that they should admit they are to blame for the current situation.

The spokesman also said that no single text was agreed during the previous rounds of talks in Vienna. He said draft texts were prepared but they were not finalized due to “impasse” on a number of issues.  

“The obstinacy and stubbornness of the US is keeping the failed legacy of Trump and part of the sanctions in place created the most significant impasse in the Vienna agreement. The US should determine what it wants. Whether it is after the failed and illegal legacy of the former US administration in imposing unilateral sanctions and unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and trumpet it. As long as these do not change, there will be no change in [the] Vienna [process],” he said.

The spokesman also touched on the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“The talks will be held and progress in the talks hinges on Riyadh avoiding comments solely aimed at media. If we witness serious will on the Saudi side, the next round of the negotiations will continue,” he said.

Khatibzadeh also addressed the crisis in Lebanon and how it affects the talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“The talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia are bilateral and we have never held discussions about our friends with others for them to affect [the Tehran-Riyadh talks],” he said.

The spokesman noted that the negotiations with Saudi Arabia were “clear and transparent” adding that Tehran expects to see seriousness in the Saudi side.

“The contact between Iran and Saudi Arabia is not cut off. Of course, after the fourth round, no new face-to-face talks have been held, either,” he said.

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