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The New Arab Staff

Iran rejects ‘step-by-step’ lifting of sanctions following announcement of indirect talks with US

Saeed Khatibzadeh demanded the lifting of all US sanctions [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 April, 2021

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Following the announcement of indirect Iran-US talks, Iran says it demands the complete lifting of all US sanctions and opposes any gradual ‘step-by-step’ easing of restrictions.

Iran has said that it wants the US to lift all the sanctions against it, saying it opposes any “step-by-step” easing of sanctions, Reuters and Iranian state-owned Press TV reported on Saturday.

On Friday, in a landmark announcement, the US and Iran agreed to hold indirect talks in Vienna regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.

The talks are part of a wider effort to return to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal agreed by Iran and world powers.

In 2018, the administration of former US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the deal and re-imposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran.

The Biden administration has announced that the new Vienna negotiations would focus on ”the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance” with the JCPOA deal, Reuters reported.

Read more: US-Iran meeting in Vienna signals new hope for JCPOA

However, the Iranian foreign ministry said on Saturday that Iran rejected any step-by-step return to the deal, and wanted the immediate lifting of US sanctions.

 “No step-by-step plan is being considered,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told Press TV. “The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all U.S. sanctions.”

After the re-imposition of sanctions by the Trump administration, Iran began enriching uranium at levels higher than those permitted by the 2015 agreement.

The Vienna talks aim to reach an agreement within two months, Reuters quoted a senior European Union official as saying.

On Saturday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Iran to take a “constructive” approach to the Vienna talks.

While both Iran and the Biden administration say they wish to return to the 2015 deal, they are in dispute as to who should take the first step.

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