If Washington wants to get back to the nuclear deal of 2015 with Iran, it must first lift all the sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic Republic, says a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
“We do not insist, nor are we in a hurry to see the United States return. But if it wants to return, there are conditions, the most important of which is to remove sanctions to prove that the new administration is committed to the JCPOA obligations,” Ali Akbar Velayati said on Monday, referring to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It’s up to them if they want to return or not, but … they must make up for past failures. Their past failures were that they not only did nothing to lift sanctions, but intensified them and this was against their commitments under the [nuclear] deal.”
“If any administration in the United States makes a commitment, it will be binding for subsequent administrations as well. It is not the case that every administration has their own commitment. So, we fulfilled our commitments, but they violated the obligations and it is natural that if they want to return, they should lift the sanctions,” Velayati said.
The senior advisor to the Leader expressed regret that France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, which represent the European Union in the 2015 nuclear deal, had imposed many restrictions on Tehran in compliance with the United States, and in some ways had also imposed indirect sanctions.
Velayati, however, said Russia and China out of the JCPOA signatories have helped Iran as much as they could and fulfilled their commitments.
“When the Americans have such a bad record in meeting their obligations, we have every right to be pessimistic, and if they wanted to come back and resume negotiations without fulfilling their previous commitments, it would not be acceptable at all.”
Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the nation on Friday, where he said Iran was in no rush for the US to return to the deal.
“Our rational demand is the lifting of the sanctions. This is the Iranian nation’s right, which has been violated. They are duty-bound to do that… If the sanctions are lifted, then the US return to the JCPOA will mean something,” the Leader said.
The JCPOA was signed in July 2015 between Tehran and six world powers and ratified in the form of Resolution 2231.
President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out in May 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the accord.
As the remaining European parties failed to live up to their commitments to keep trade with Iran despite the US bans, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend some of its commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.
Tehran has said its countermeasures are reversible once Washington returns to the JCPOA, fulfills its commitments and ends its sanctions.