Friday, March 5, 2021

Iran’s Zarif calls on Biden to ‘unconditionally’ lift US sanctions

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Friday called on the new US administration to “unconditionally” lift sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on the Islamic republic to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.

The new administration of President Joe Biden “can still salvage the nuclear agreement, but only if it can muster the genuine political will in Washington to demonstrate that the United States is ready to be a real partner in collective efforts,” Zarif wrote in an op-ed published by Foreign Affairs magazine Friday.

Read more: Amid US tensions, Iran steps up uranium enrichment above threshold

“The administration should begin by unconditionally removing, with full effect, all sanctions imposed, reimposed, or relabeled since Trump took office.

“In turn, Iran would reverse all the remedial measures it has taken in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal,” he added, warning against any attempt at “extracting concessions” from Tehran, Zarif added.

The landmark deal agreed between Iran and the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief has been largely in tatters since Trump withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions.

The return of sanctions plunged Iran’s economy into a deep recession, and in response, Tehran since 2019 has walked back on most of its key commitments under the deal.

The Iranian government has signalled a readiness to engage with Biden, who took office on January 20 and who has expressed willingness to return to diplomacy with Tehran.

Read more: Khamenei says US ‘enmities’ towards Iran will not end after Trump

But Joe Biden has conditioned this on Iran returning to strict compliance with its commitments under the deal, while Tehran is now demanding that Washington first lift all sanctions.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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