Published: Sat, April 03, 2021

Iran rejects 'step-by-step' lifting of United States sanctions

Iran rejects 'step-by-step' lifting of United States sanctions

The United States and Iran said Friday they will begin indirect negotiations with intermediaries next week to try to get both countries back into compliance with an accord limiting Iran's nuclear program, almost three years after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the deal. But Price added: "These remain early days, and we don't anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be hard discussions ahead".

Iranian state television quoted Abbas Araghchi, Iran's nuclear negotiator at the virtual meeting, as saying during Friday's discussions that any "return by the the nuclear deal does not require any negotiation and the path is quite clear".

An informed source tells Press TV that the only way the United States could see Iran stop its counter-measures under the 2015 nuclear deal is for Washington to lift all the sanctions it imposed on the Islamic Republic in the aftermath of its withdrawal from the agreement some three years ago.

"Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA, and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides", the statement said, referring to the deal by its initials.

Participants in the accord over Tehran's nuclear ambitions - including China, France, Germany, Russia, and Britain - said their officials would meet in-person on Tuesday in Vienna, the European Union said after a video conference. The Biden administration and Iran have differed on conditions for that to happen, including the timing of the lifting of USA sanctions against Iran.

The US blacklisted Iran's energy industry in late 2018 as it ramped up sanctions, but granted Baghdad a series of temporary waivers, hoping Iraq would wean itself off Iranian energy by partnering with US firms.

Russia's ambassador to worldwide organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted that Friday's session went well and the parties were prepared to talk further. "The stakeholders seem to be ready for that".

Meanwhile, quoting an informed source, Interfax reported that Russian Federation is ready to mediate between Iran and USA to arrive at a solution for a mutual return to commitments.

As part of its ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran last month began restricting IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but nowhere near the amount it had before the nuclear deal was signed. The American and Iranian officials will not meet directly, but the U.S. team plans to meet officials from the other countries that are signatories to the deal, the senior administration official said.

The ultimate goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something it insists it doesn't want to do.

"We do not anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through this process, though the United States remains open to them", Price said. Under a last-minute agreement worked out during a trip to Tehran, however, some access was preserved. It will then hand them over to the Vienna-based United Nations atomic watchdog if it is granted sanctions relief.

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