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Iran won’t accept division of US sanctions into JCPOA-related, non-related ones: Senior official

A senior Iranian official has told Press TV that the country will not accept any division of the sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran into those that had been removed under the 2015 nuclear deal and the ones unrelated to the nuclear deal.

Speaking to Press TV on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday, the senior official said “Iran will not accept a division of the Trump-era sanctions into JCPOA-related ones and those unrelated to the JCPOA.”

The JCPOA is the acronym of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal that Iran clinched in 2015 with the US under ex-president Barack Obama and five other major world states. The deal was abandoned by Obama’s predecessor, Donald Trump, three years after its conclusion.

Now, Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, says the US wants to rejoin the deal; however, Iran wants the administration in Washington to compensate for Trump’s wrong move by removing the sanctions on Iran first before it can rejoin the deal.

“From Iran’s viewpoint, all American sanctions — including the Obama-era sanctions, the sanctions restored by Trump and the additional sanctions in the Trump-era labeled as non-nuclear — must be terminated,” the official added.

“Iran does not accept and recognize negotiations based on a division of the sanctions,” the official emphasized. “Iran’s condition for returning to its JCPOA commitments is the lasting removal of all the entire sanctions.”

The official said America and Europe must guarantee that the sanctions will not be restored on Iran again after their removal.

Tehran’s resumption of its commitments — which have been suspended in retaliaton for Washington’s exit from the deal — will not be possible until after “a reasonable verification” of the sanctions removal.

The official further emphasized that Iran will need enough time to verify the termination of the sanctions, and that it cannot be done within “a short time.”

Iran warns negotiating parties against wasting time

In another development on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who heads the Iranian delegation to the Vienna talks, warned that Tehran will abandon the discussions if the other negotiators waste time or seek goals other than reviving the nuclear deal.

He told Nour News that the Vienna talks focus on technical and legal issues regarding the implementation of the JCPOA, first by the United States and then Iran.

“These negotiations are not even about the JCPOA itself, let alone an agreement beyond the JCPOA,” he added.

“To us, it does not matter what aspirations our opposite sides have about the future of the negotiations. The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is completely clear and we will not have any talks on other issues.”

During the Vienna talks, Iran and the remaining signatories to the JCPOA agreed to form expert-level working groups to discuss the sanctions Washington might remove and the nuclear curbs Tehran might observe as they try to resurrect the nuclear accord.

Araqchi said that the working groups will work until Friday, after which they will report their conclusions to the JCPOA Joint Commission.

“If we see that the negotiating parties are seeking to waste time or pursuing other goals, we will stop [participation in] the negotiations at the current level,” he underlined.

“It is worth mentioning that we have no subject such as a step-by-step implementation of commitments on the agenda. All the required measures will be taken in one step.”

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