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US must take first step to restore JCPOA through full compliance, says journalist

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)
Press TV interviews journalist and political analyst Elijah Magnier.

The United States is the party that needs to take the first step towards restoring the Iran nuclear deal through full compliance, but the Americans do not seem to understand the logic of the sequence of actions, says a journalist and political analyst.

In an interview with Press TV, Elijah Magnier said because it was the US that pulled out and violated the agreement -- dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it is up to the Americans to move forward and agree and comply with the deal.

“However, the problem seems to be from the American side—that they don’t understand they have to move forward first before Iran, because Iran followed the lack of compliance of the US and not vice-versa,” Magnier said.

He made the remarks after Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s Tuesday address to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in which he said Iran has “no trust in US promises,” and wants all anti-Tehran sanctions to be removed at once.

The US, under former president Donald Trump, reinstated harsh economic sanctions against Iran after it withdrew from the JCPOA, prompting Iran to reduce its nuclear commitments in a legal move stipulated within the 2015 agreement.

Talks began in Austria’s capital, Vienna, three months after Joe Biden became the president of the United States. Biden had on numerous occasions slammed Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and vowed to rejoin the landmark deal.

“What Iran has been saying for the last months is there’s no trust with the US and the only way forward is for the US to regain the agreement,” Magnier said.

The US, however, wants to see Iran backpedal on all the steps it has taken under the JCPOA that allows it to withdraw gradually from the deal if one of the signatories reneges on its commitments.

“So what we need to see today is the Americans declaring that they are going to lift all sanctions, and then Iran can confirm that this is going to happen and its frozen money is going to return, the other European and non-European countries are going to be allowed to deal with Iran and Iran can sell its oil without restriction,” the Brussels-based journalist said.

Since the beginning of the Vienna talks, Iran has made it clear that it seeks the removal of all the sanctions imposed on the country after the JCPOA went into effect in January 2016. The US, however, insists that it is willing to remove only those that are inconsistent with the JCPOA.

In his Tuesday address, President Raeisi said Washington is using sanctions as a “new way of war” against other nations, stressing that the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic during the coronavirus pandemic are “crimes against humanity.”

“Sanctions are the US’s new way of war with the world countries. Sanctions against the Iranian nation started not with my country’s nuclear program; they even predate the Islamic Revolution and go back to the year 1951 when oil nationalization went underway in Iran,” Raeisi maintained.

Reacting to Raeisi’s remarks, Magnier said the policy of sanctions against people, namely starving populations in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and in Venezuela, is “indeed a crime against humanity but the Americans are really careless about it.”

“They just think they can get away with it and there is no other country in the world that can hold the Americans accountable,” he added.

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