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Iran to hold no talks with US before lifting of sanctions: Source

An informed source has told Press TV that Iran will hold no negotiations with the US — neither directly nor indirectly — before the lifting of all the sanctions that Washington imposed on the Islamic Republic after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Press TV on Friday contacted a senior official familiar with the situation surrounding the Iran deal following a virtual meeting of the signatories to the agreement, formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), over the future of the accord.

The interviewed followed Press TV’s exclusive report on the virtual meeting, which cited another informed source.

The source said, “Just like America left the JCPOA and imposed the bans on Iran without any negotiations, it must now lift the sanctions sans negotiations.”

In accordance with a guideline put foward by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on January 8, 2021, “the Islamic Republic of Iran will return to its JCPOA commitments following the removal of all the US sanctions and verification of that,” the official added.

“In line with the unchangeable guideline of Iran’s Leader, any result of the JCPOA Joint Commission which would be based on the idea of a step-by-step removal of the sanctions or indirect negotiations with the US will not be acceptable,” the source added.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not accept any initiative based on a step-by-step removal of the sanctions with the US,” the source emphasized.

The official was referring to the remarks Ayatollah Khamenei made less than two weeks before US Joe Biden entered the White House, during which he called for the immediate of removal of the American sanctions.

Earlier in the day, US media claimed that Iran and the US would hold talks during the next meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, slated for next Tuesday.

The New York Times wrote the two sides “will negotiate through intermediaries” on the implementation of the Iran deal in the future.

“Indirect talks in Vienna between Iran and the United States, carried out in person through intermediaries, will seek to agree on a road map on how to synchronize steps to return to their commitments, including the lifting of economic sanctions,” the report claimed, citing a US official it did not name.

Likewise, the Wall Street Journal also claimed that “the US, Iran and other nuclear deal participants will meet next week,” citing unnamed Western diplomats.

However, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy, Abbas Araqchi, who was led Iran’s delegation in the Friday session, clarified that the US will not present in the Vienna session.

“The US will not be present in any meeting attended by Iran, including that of the JCPOA Joint Commission. This is certain,” Araqchi said.

The sanctions returned in place after the ex-US administration under President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA and went on a so-called “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at paralyzing the Iranian economy, mainly its banking and energy sectors.

Initially, Iran exercised patience in the face of the American move, waiting for the remaining signatories, particularly the Europeans, to live up to their contractual commitments to Tehran by offsetting the sanctions.

The Europeans, however, failed Iran, prompting the country to resort to the Article 36 of the JCPOA, which allows a party to suspend its commitments in case of non-compliance on the part of the other signatories.

Now, with a change of administration in the US, Biden’s White House has been speaking of a desire to rejoin the deal, but its expressions of support for the JCPOA has not materialized so far.

Tehran says the US, as the initiator of the crisis revolving around the JCPOA, must lift the sanctions against Iran verifiably and practically to prove its seriousness for a return to the deal.

The Biden administration has, however, been insisting that the first step towards the JCPOA’s revival should be taken by Tehran, an excessive demand Iran has firmly dismissed.

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