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Delay in removing sanctions benefits Iran, harms West: Official

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says any foot-dragging in removing US sanctions on the Islamic Republic is in the interests of Tehran and to the detriment of the Western countries.

“Iran is moving fast in the nuclear industry, and time is on its side. In this regard, if no progress takes place in the negotiations, we are still makng progress technically,” Behrouz Kamalvandi said on his Instagram account. 

Talks were held in Vienna earlier this week between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission.

An American delegation was also present in the Austrian capital, but it was not allowed to attend the talks aimed at removing anti-Iran sanctions and discussing other issues related to the 2015 nuclear deal, from which former US president Donald Trump withdrew his country in May 2018 and imposed the “toughest ever” sanctions against Tehran.

After the withdrawal, Iran waited for a year for the Europeans to take remedial measures and thwart the unilateral US bans as per their obligations under the JCPOA, but to no avail. 

That prompted the Islamic Republic to scale down some of its commitments in line with its legal rights stipulated under Article 36 of the nuclear deal.

Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has claimed his administration was willing to rejoin the JCPOA, but he has taken no practical measures.

Tehran says Washington, as the first party that reneged on its commitments, should take the first step towards unconditionally remove all the anti-Iran sanctions in a verifiable manner.

Kamalvandi said, “Now, the situation is such that as long as the Western side dithers, it will benefit Iran and harm the other side. The number of our centrifuges and the amount of enriched material is rising fast.”

The official said Iran will not act until the sanctions are removed and the process is verified.

“We have no trust in the other side. The list of 1,600 sanctions as well as demands mentioned in the JCPOA but not met in practice have now been brought up by Iran. No measure will be taken by Iran until these issues are resolved,” he said. 

The AEOI spokesman stressed that nuclear power is very important to Iran’s progress, adding it is a driving force behind the development of the country’s industries.

Kamalvandi said Iran’s nuclear industry has become completely indigenous and the country has made great progress compared to previous years.

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