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US offer not even close to lifting sanctions against Tehran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The US administration has announced three gestures toward Iran in an apparent break from former president Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. Iran however has stated that is does not even come close to its demand that all sanctions be lifted.

US President Joe Biden's administration has announced three symbolic gestures toward Iran in an apparent break with former President Donald Trump's so called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department said Thursday the Biden administration was willing to meet with Iranian officials and other world powers involved in negotiating the nuclear deal.

Price said Washington would accept an invitation from the European Union's top diplomat to attend the meeting, with a view to discussing a diplomatic way forward on Iran's nuclear program.

What the US is trying to play a little game here by saying, I'm going to go to Europe, and I'm going to meet the Iranians, and now I want to talk about the JCPOA, and maybe the US will lift some sanctions, they just the message the US is just not getting it right. The US needs to understand when Iran stopped giving false hope that there is no return to the JCPOA unless the Americans lift all sanctions, apply the lifting of the sanctions, allow Iran to sell its oil, and to make deal with other companies, as stated in the JCPOA. And then, Iran will stop withdrawing from the nuclear deal.

Elijah Magnier, Journalist and Political Analyst, Brussels

Washington says it has lifted travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats accredited to the United Nations, headquartered in New York, limitations that were imposed by Trump in 2019.

Elsewhere, in a letter to the UN Security Council on behalf of President Biden acting US Ambassador Richard Mills informed that the United States has withdrawn three letters presented under the Trump administration that claimed the US had re imposed UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Mills asserted that sanctions measures terminated under resolution 2231 endorsing the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action JCPOA with six world powers, remain terminated.

This is why the overwhelming majority of the members in the 15 nation Council have described Trump's bid to restore UN embargoes on Iran as illegal arguing the US was no longer a member of the JCPOA

In a tweet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the US acknowledgement that the snapback mechanism of the JCPOA has not been triggered.

He reiterated Iran's position that Washington must lift all sanctions imposed, reimposed or relabeled under the Trump administration before Tehran reverses its scale back of the commitments under the nuclear accord. Zarif had earlier urged France, Britain and Germany, three European signatories to the nuclear agreement to abandon their calls on Iran to act first to salvage the JCPOA, and instead demand an end to the US "economic terrorism” against Iran.

In response to the US announcement that it would accept the EU's invitation to a meeting of Iran and the P5+1, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khateeb Zadeh said P5+1 no longer exists due to Washington's withdrawal from the deal. He repeated the official stance of Iran  that the US must first put its words into action before Tehran follows suit.

Even after the US exit from the JCPOA and the re imposition of sanctions, Iran remained fully committed to the accord for a year before gradually reducing its commitments in five steps, citing the failure of the European signatories to the deal to keep their end of the bargain.

Iran made it very clear the government is forced to abide by the decision of the Parliament and the parliament decided to implement several steps one after the other. The first one is the 21st of February, and on the 21st of February, Iran will withdraw from the voluntary protocol, and would reduce the sudden inspection of the Atomic Energy inspector. Therefore, the Americans need to understand that there are other steps that will follow if the sanctions are not lifted.

Elijah Magnier, Journalist and Political Analyst, Brussels

The country has time and again noted that all the retaliatory steps are reversible once all signatories honor their obligations.


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