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Iran urges US to abandon ‘sanctions lunacy’, advises IAEA against ‘politicized approach’

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reiterated Tehran’s resolve to continue talks on the revival of the 2015 multilateral agreement, calling for an end to the United States’ “sanctions lunacy” and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s “politicized approach” over the country’s nuclear program.

In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Amir-Abdollahian said the Iranian administration is abiding by a December 2020 parliamentary law, which obligated the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to further reduce the country’s nuclear commitments to the 2015 Iran deal in response to the US withdrawal from the agreement.

Under the law – dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions – the Iranian administration is required to restrict the IAEA’s inspections and accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program beyond the limits set under the JCPOA, such as ending the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In spite of uttering Tehran’s firm stance, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized that Iran would never “distance itself from result-oriented talks” aimed at salvaging the JCPOA.

“Abiding by Majlis law, we continue talks & call on US to be realistic & abandon sanctions lunacy; & on IAEA to focus on technical duties instead of adopting politicized approach,” he tweeted, referring to Iran’s parliament known as Majlis.

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized the Islamic Republic would “NEVER hesitate to neutralize sanctions.”

The tweet came a day after the administration of US President Joe Biden imposed a new round of sanctions on Iranian petrochemical producers as well as a network of Chinese, Emirati, and Indian companies over what the US Treasury described as facilitating the export of Iran’s oil.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement that the new restrictive measures were aimed at piling up pressure on Iran amid stalled negotiations aimed at reviving the JCPOA.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi said on Friday that the world must give Iran the right not to trust the US because of its inconsistent actions.

“On the one hand, the Americans are sending the message that they are ready to negotiate, but, on the other, they are adding to the sanctions. The world should give us the right not to trust them.”

Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna since April last year to restore the JCPOA, which was ditched by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018. In quitting the agreement, Trump introduced what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees. Tehran maintains that the policy has failed dismally. The Biden administration agrees, yet it has not taken any tangible steps to deliver on its promise of repealing the policy.

In recent months, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason behind the protraction of the talks, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the American side that it will not leave the deal again.

Meanwhile, in a recent politically-motivated decision, the IAEA’s Board of Governors has passed a resolution, proposed by the US and the three European parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, and Germany, which accuses Tehran of failing to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear agency.

On Tuesday, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami censured the UN nuclear watchdog for politicizing the country’s peaceful nuclear program under the Israeli regime’s pressure regardless of Tehran’s extensive cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran’s nuclear chief said the country did not expect at all that such a resolution would be passed under the influence and political pressure coming from Israel.

Time for decision about return to JCPOA is now: EU’s Borrell

The European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Thursday the time is ripe for the JCPOA parties to make a decision about a return to the deal and ensure its full implementation.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting, Borrell said he is in “permanent contact” with all the parties to the JCPOA to make necessary arrangements for the deal’s revival. “The basic elements and terms to do this are known and on the table,” the top EU diplomat said.

In a telephonic conversation with Borrell in May, the Iranian foreign minister said Tehran is determined to reach a strong and lasting agreement in Vienna talks.

Amir-Abdollahian said, “Tehran has the goodwill and seriousness required for reaching an agreement.”

‘New sanctions inconsistent with revived JCPOA’

Meanwhile, Laurence Norman of the Wall Street Journal says the Biden administration believes its new sanctions against Iran were inconsistent with a revived JCPOA.

Citing sources, he said the sanctions would be lifted if a deal is reached through the Vienna format.

“I understand from sources that the Biden administration believes the sanctions announced today would be inconsistent with a revived JCPOA and would be lifted if a deal is reached,” he tweeted.

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