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Iran’s security chief says no solution to current impasse unless US removes sanctions

Iran’s security chief says there will be no way out of the current impasse over the Iranian nuclear program unless the United States removes its cruel sanctions.

“Nothing will happen unless the #UnitedStates takes effective actions to lift the oppressive #sanctions. The current stalemate is not tactical and domestic, but related to the West’s deceptive strategy. #DecisiveWord,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Chief Ali Shamkhani said via Twitter on Wednesday.

Nothing will happen unless the #UnitedStates takes effective actions to lift the oppressive #sanctions. The current stalemate is not tactical and domestic, but related to the West’s deceptive strategy.#DecisiveWord — علی شمخانی (@alishamkhani_ir) March 17, 2021

Shamkhani’s remarks came after the Supreme National Security Council held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to respond to the ongoing American sanctions, an informed source told Press TV.

The informed source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the remarks mean that Iran will only accept the complete removal of US sanctions in a way that could be verifiable by the country.

Shamkhani’s tweet was in response to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who said on Tuesday that efforts to revive the Iran nuclear talks are stalling because of “tactical problems” and the domestic situation in Iran ahead of its presidential election in June.

Le Drian, however, did not say what he meant by the tactical problems.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany — reached a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 after years of diplomacy and intensive negotiations. 

The fate of the deal, officially dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), remains unclear primarily due to the US sanctions and also the failure of the European side to shield business with Iran in the face of Washington’s bans and threats. 

Iran says the US needs to take the first step to lift the sanctions and return to its commitments as it was Washington that quit the agreement in 2018 in total disregard for the international law.

Iranian officials say all the sanctions need to be removed before Tehran would halt the remedial actions it has taken under a mechanism enshrined in Article 36 of the JCPOA.

Under this provision, if a signatory to the deal deems an unresolved issue to constitute “significant non-performance” by its counterparts, it can treat it as ground “to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA in whole or in part” until others are brought back to order.

US President Joe Biden, who was vice president when the JCPOA was clinched, expressed a desire to return his country to the nuclear deal both during his election campaign and after he took office.

But his administration has not taken any palpable measure in this regard and has so far remained faithful to Donald Trump’s pressure campaign and sanctions. The new administration has conditioned the US return to the JCPOA on Tehran’s resumption of the commitments it has suspended.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday the new leadership in the White House has so far failed to take any practical measure to make up for the past wrongdoings.

“The current US administration has repeatedly acknowledged the wrongdoings of the previous administration, but, two months on, we have not seen anything in practice (from Washington) to make up for these mistakes, and it has just been mere words,” Rouhani said.

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