President Ebrahim Raeisi says efforts to neutralize US sanctions on Iran are not tied to Vienna negotiations with the P4+1 group of countries, stressing that his administration is not putting all its eggs in one basket when it comes to rendering the coercive measures ineffective.
“Although the pursuit of removing sanctions is a serious agenda of the government, the effort in the thirteenth government to neutralize the sanctions has not been dependent on negotiations, so that today and under the sanctions situation, our oil sales have increased so much that we no longer worry and the proceeds are also returning to the country,” Raeisi wrote in a tweet on Friday morning.
Diplomats from Iran and the other remaining parties to the 2015 Iran agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are engaged in the eighth round of diplomatic negotiations in Austria’s capital to bring the US back into the deal.
Blinken: ‘A few weeks left’
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that there are only “a few weeks left” to save the JCPOA, warning that Washington was ready to look at “other options” if the Vienna talks failed.
“We have, I think, a few weeks left to see if we can get back to mutual compliance,” Blinken said in an interview with US public radio station NPR.
“We’re very, very short on time,” because “Iran is getting closer and closer to the point where they could produce on very, very short order enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” he claimed.
Blinken said Tehran has made nuclear advances that “will become increasingly hard to reverse because they’re learning things, they’re doing new things as a result of having broken out of their constraints under the agreement.”
The US and the Europeans use the hypothesis of an atomic weapon for propaganda against Iran’s nuclear energy program which has been subject to the most intrusive UN inspections ever.
The UN nuclear agency has repeatedly verified the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. Moreover, the Islamic Republic has a religious fatwa in place, issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei, forbidding nuclear weapons.
The US abandoned the JCPOA in 2018 under former president Donald Trump and imposed more than a thousand sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Undoing Trump’s wrongs would mean the US needs to verifiably remove all of those sanctions.
However, the JCPOA has been the subject of bitter disputes within the US. Washington signed on to the deal under Democratic President Barack Obama and is trying to rejoin it under another Democrat, Joe Biden, while Republicans have vigorously opposed the deal all along.