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Sanctions removal least US could do to redeem its sabotage of JCPOA: Expert

An Iranian university professor says the potential removal of sanctions against Iran would be the least the United States could do to make up for its sabotage of the 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and others.

Tehran University Professor Mohammad Marandi, who is accompanying the Iranian delegation to the Vienna talks, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday as he was offering a contrastive analysis of the way the US and Iran have been treating the historic accord.

“From day one, when they signed the deal in Vienna, they (the Americans), violated the deal. Under [Joe] Biden, they’re violating the deal, under [Donald] Trump, they violated the deal, and under [Barack Obama] Obama they violated the deal,” he said.

The agreement obliged the US to remove the sanctions in return for Iran effecting some voluntary changes in its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Former US president Barack Obama, under whose tenure the deal was reached, however, suspended the sanctions only partially. He also failed to take the measures that could protect the agreement against potential erratic decisions by future American chief executives.

His successor Donald Trump unilaterally left the deal and returned the coercive economic measures, practically throwing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is officially known, into limbo.

Current US President Joe Biden has voiced a willingness to bring Washington back into the deal.

His administration has, however, stopped short of taking any meaningful measures that could mirror this. The Biden team has even added many sanctions to the ones that are already in place.

Iran began a set of phased-out remedial measures in 2019, after a year of strategic patience in the face of the US and others’ non-commitment.

“The United States tore up the agreement, and even after they tore up the agreement, the Iranians continued to abide by their commitments in full for a whole year, and only gradually decreased their commitments within the framework of the nuclear deal. In other words, Articles 26 and 36 (of the JCPOA) allow Iran to decrease or end their commitments if the other side fails to abide by their commitments,” Marandi said.

“I think by now everyone knows that with regards to the nuclear deal, the side that kept its promises was Iran,” he added, saying, “So, Iran, neither in the past nor now, has not been violating the deal.”

If the other side wanted to “re-engage with Iran, if they want Iran to abide by its commitments, the least that they can do is to put aside all sanctions and go back to 2015,” noted the expert.

Marandi concluded his remarks by reminding that any potential act of sanction removal by the US has to be verifiable by Iran. He further noted that Washington was also obliged to compensate the Islamic Republic for the economic damage it has afflicted on the country through the bans.

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