Iran will “immediately reverse” actions in respect of its nuclear programme when U.S. sanctions are lifted, its foreign minister said on Friday, reiterating Tehran’s position on Washington’s offer to revive talks.
The Joe Biden administration said on Thursday it was ready to revive a 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers that former president Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 before reimposing sanctions on Iran.
When sanctions are lifted, “we will then immediately reverse all remedial measures. Simple,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.
On Thursday, Zarif had tweeted that Iran’s “remedial measures” were in response to violations of the accord by the U.S., Britain, France and Germany. Other signatories to the 2015 deal were China and Russia.
Earlier, Zarif said in an interview posted on a government site that the United States had not only failed to fulfil its obligations, but continues Trump’s “failed maximum pressure” despite claiming it is ready to revive the nuclear agreement.
“Thus the Europeans must note that pressure on Iran does not work, nor are worthless remarks of any use,” Zarif said, adding: “As soon as we see steps by the United States and Europe toward fulfilling their obligations, we will immediately react and return to our commitments.”
Separately, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet on Friday: “US must act: lift sanctions. We will respond.”
In London, UK junior foreign minister James Cleverly reiterated that Iran had to resume compliance with the deal, adding the West should not send signals that it is prepared to overlook Tehran’s breaches of the accord.
Breaches of the deal by Iran began in 2019, about a year after Trump withdrew from it. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday the Biden administration would return to the accord if Tehran came into full compliance with it.
Tehran has set a Feb. 23 deadline for Washington to begin reversing sanctions, otherwise, it says, it will take its biggest step yet to breach the deal – banning short-notice inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Britain, France, Germany, and the United States called on Iran to refrain from that step and repeated their concerns over recent actions by Tehran to produce uranium enriched up to 20% and uranium metal.