Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday that the United States’ decision to reinstate sanctions waivers to Tehran was insufficient, and that Washington should provide guarantees for the resumption of the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
The news: As indirect U.S.-Iranian discussions on restoring the nuclear deal enter the last stretch in Vienna, Washington restored exemptions to allow international nuclear cooperation projects.
What they’re saying: “The lifting of some sanctions can in itself translate into good faith,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in comments reported by Iranian media.
- “While what is on paper is good, but it’s not enough,” he added.
- Amir-Abdollahian said one of the major issues in the Vienna talks was getting “guarantees, especially from the West, to fulfil their obligations.”
- “We demand guarantees in the political, legal and economic spheres. Certain agreements have already been reached,” he added.
What’s going on: The waivers restored by the U.S. permitted Russian, Chinese, and European corporations to conduct non-proliferation work, effectively making it more difficult for Iranian nuclear installations to be used for weapons development. Under former president Donald Trump, who walked out of the nuclear accord in 2018, the waivers were revoked by the US in 2019 and 2020.
- Since April, the U.S. and Iran have undertaken eight rounds of indirect discussions in Vienna aimed at resurrecting the accord with major nations – the U.S., China, Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – that lifted sanctions in exchange for limitations on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
- Iran began gradually breaking the pact’s nuclear limitations after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal and reimposed punishing penalties. Tehran claims that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes alone.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said in a post on Twitter on Saturday: “Iran’s legal right to continue research and development and maintain its peaceful nuclear capabilities and achievements, side by side with its security … cannot be curbed by any agreement.”