Iran won’t resume nuclear commitments until US lifts sanctions, Khamenei says

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States must lift all sanctions against the country if it wants it to halt Tehran’s nuclear expansion.

Writing on Twitter on Sunday, he claimed that Iran “abided by all its commitments” under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In contrast, he said, the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and Germany — four of the original parties to the pact along with Russia and China — breached theirs.

“If they want Iran to return to its commitments, the United States must lift all sanctions first,” he added.

The U.S. withdrew from the deal under former President Donald Trump and reinstated crippling sanctions on Iran, which responded by breaching the terms of the JCPOA step by step. The new Biden administration has signaled it could rejoin the accord if Tehran returns to compliance with the pact.

Khamenei’s comments came after U.S. media outlets reported on Saturday that Joe Biden was looking for a way to reengage with Iran without lifting key sanctions.

On Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also called on Washington to return to the deal quickly as an Iranian parliamentary bill will force Tehran to take a tougher stance on nuclear matters if U.S. sanctions are not eased by February 21.

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