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Iran sees no sign of ‘goodwill’ in ‘selective’ removal of entities from US blacklists

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman says the US' "selective" removal of some entities from its sanctions is not viewed as a sign of "goodwill" from Washington.

Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter on Friday that US President Joe Biden should stop following in the footsteps of his predecessor Donald Trump by “effectively and verifiably removing sanctions” targeting the Islamic Republic.

His comments came a day after the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced in a statement that it had dropped sanctions on three former National Iranian Oil Company officials and two companies that previously “traded” Iranian petrochemicals. It said the former officials were removed from US blacklists as they were no longer affiliated with the entities already on US sanctions list.

However, the statement added that the Treasury had imposed new sanctions on several entities it said is financially helping Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement that has been defending the country against Saudi-led aggression since 2015.

Trump left Iran’s nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and major world powers – in 2018 and reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran as part of the agreement.

Trump then launched what he described as a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, a futile yet inhumane economic war against the Iranian nation.

Since April, representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at revitalizing the JCPOA and bringing the US back to compliance.

The US has sent a delegation to Vienna but it is not attending the JCPOA Joint Commission talks directly as Washington is no longer a party to the deal. It has, however, held separate talks with the other parties to the nuclear agreement.

Biden has said Washington is willing to return to the pact if Tehran first suspends its countermeasures taken in response to US violations and reimposition of sanctions.

Iran says the onus is on the US to revive the deal as it was Washington, not Tehran, that left the internationally recognized accord in defiance of global criticism.

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