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FM Zarif: US nuclear demand from Iran ‘will never happen’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will not accept the  US demand that it resume full nuclear compliance before Washington lifts sanctions on Tehran.  

The demand “is not logical and will never happen”, he said at a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu Friday.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Iran’s nuclear deal in 2018. Under the deal, Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

After the US then ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits on its nuclear development.  

New President Joe Biden, who was vice president when the deal was signed during the Obama administration, has said he hopes to return the US to the deal. But new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday the US will only return to the nuclear deal once Tehran honors its nuclear commitments.

“The United States unilaterally withdrew from this comprehensive course of action,” Zarif told journalists, speaking through an interpreter. “It is the duty of the United States to return to this agreement and to fulfill its obligations.

“The moment the United States fulfills its commitments, we would be prepared to fulfill ours,” he added.

Zarif said the US withdrawal from the nuclear pact, officially referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a blatant example of Washington’s “law-breaking”.

“Unfortunately, the US is used to imposing sanctions,” Zarif added, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

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