Iran says US sanctions waiver not enough, US must give guarantees
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reacted to a claim by the US that it has restored a sanctions waiver, saying Washington must show goodwill on the ground not on paper.
He made the remarks on Saturday, a day after the administration of US President Joe Biden restored a sanctions waiver, which was rescinded by his predecessor, Donald Trump, in May 2020.
“In recent days, we have explicitly told the American parties through intermediaries, who exchange messages, that they must show their goodwill in practice,” Amirabdolahian told reporters.
"In our view, goodwill in practice means that something tangible will happen on the ground. The lifting of some sanctions can, in the true sense of the word, translate into the goodwill that the Americans are talking about. What happens on paper is good, but not enough.”
Echoing those remarks, Iran’s top security official said a "show" of lifting sanctions is not "constructive" as Iran needs to feel "real" economic benefit of any deal amid the Vienna talks.
“Real, effective and verifiable economic benefit for #Iran is a necessary condition for the formation of an agreement,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
He added, “The show of lifting sanctions is not considered constructive. #ViennaTalks”
In May 2018, Trump unilaterally left the Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted.
He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.
The Biden administration had voiced a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for roughly 10 months in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA and lift the US sanctions.
The eighth round of the talks has been put on pause as diplomats returned to their capitals for consultations.