Iran FM urges US admin to remove sanctions

TEHRAN, Oct. 22, 2019 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends the international conference on “Unilateralism and International Law” in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 21, 2019. Zarif said on Monday that the United States has created tension in the Middle East region, official IRNA news agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/IANS)

Tehran, Feb 7 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran is losing patience with the new US administration’s “recent signals to retain illegal sanctions” on the Islamic Republic.

In a statement on Saturday, Zarif criticised Washington for what he called “not moving fast to rectify wrong steps” taken under former President Donald Trump, saying that “the more they hesitate, the more the US will lose”, reports Xinhua news agency.

If the new US administration under President Joe Biden does not distance itself from the policies of its predecessor, it would be “dangerous” for America, he said.

The Foreign Minister also urged Washington to get back to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by honouring its commitments.

Zarif further noted that Iran’s reduction of its nuclear commitments was a reaction to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Iran has had to take “compensatory measures” in the face of the US’ failure to adhere to its commitments, he said.

“We will stop our compensatory measures (reducing the nuclear commitment) as soon as they (the US administration) return to the JCPOA,” the Minister added.

Zarif’s remarks come after Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said late last month that the Islamic Republic is “currently not interested in making any direct contact” with the Biden administration, stressing that any possible talks could only be held within the “right format” of the nuclear deal.

As a result of the US’ unilateral exit, Iran has surpassed JCPOA-stipulated limits on its uranium enrichment level and on its stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium.

Iran has also lifted JCPOA limitations on its nuclear research and development activities.

On January 4, the Islamic Republic launched 20 per cent uranium enrichment process as part of the country’s Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions which was approved by the parliament in December 2020.

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