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US must lift Obama-, Trump-era sanctions before Iran returns to full JCPOA compliance: Security source

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 file photo shows centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

The US needs to lift the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Rebublic during the administrations of former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump before Tehran reverses its countermeasures and returns to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, a source tells Press TV.

A senior Iranian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that in addition to sanctions imposed on Iran by the hawkish Trump administration, the US needed to lift the Obama-era sanctions, including the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) and the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

The source noted that all those sanctions had to be removed before Iran would halt its remedial actions under a mechanism enshrined in Article 36 of the JCPOA.

Under this provision, if Iran deems an unresolved issue to constitute "significant non-performance" by its counterparts, it can treat it as ground "to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA in whole or in part" until others are brought back to order.

US sanctions extension breach of JCPOA

On December 1, 2016, the US Senate voted 99-0 to extend ISA for a further 10 years after it passed the House of Representatives nearly unanimously in November.

On December 15 that year, then outgoing president Obama declined to sign the bill but allowed its implementation without his signature.

The law authorizes the US president to re-impose bans.

Members of Congress and administration officials argued the renewal of ISA would not violate the nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Tehran undertook to put restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

However, Iranian officials criticized the US legislation to tighten visa-free travel to the United States, saying it violated the Iran nuclear deal.

Also in December 2016, Obama signed a USD-1.1-trillion funding bill that included a provision that aimed to exclude from the VWP all dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, and anyone else who had traveled to those countries since March 1, 2011.

Such foreign nationals were required to obtain a visa through standard measures, including face-to-face interview at a US consulate.

Iran sees no remedy for revival of JCPOA but sanctions removal

The fate of the JCPOA, signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- after years of diplomacy and intensive negotiations, remains unclear mainly due to the US measures, including its reimpostion of sanctions on Tehran.

The failure of the European parties to live up to their commitments under the JCPOA and shield business with Iran in the face of the US sanctions has further left the historic deal in limbo.

Iran says the US needs to take the first step to lift the bans to prove its good will as it was Washington that quit the agreement in total disregard for the international law.

Iranian officials say once Iran can verify the sanctions removal, it will reverse its countermeasures that were taken one year after the US withdrawal.


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