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US Official Says It Doesn’t Matter Who Gets First in Reviving JCPOA

US Official Says It Doesn’t Matter Who Gets First in Reviving JCPOA
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By Staff, Agencies

In an apparent retreat from ‘Iran goes first’ position, an unnamed American official said it does not matter who first returns to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, suggesting a retreat from a position that conditioned Washington’s return to the accord on Tehran’s resumption of suspended commitments.

The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday it was not the US stance that Iran must take a first step to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

“It is absolutely not our position that Iran has to come into full compliance before we do anything,” he told Reuters.

“As for, if we agree on mutual steps, like we’ll do X, they do Y, the issue of sequence will not be the issue. I don’t know who would go first. I mean we could – it could be simultaneous.”

The official also noted, “That’s not the issue, who goes first,” adding, “Like, we are going to go at 8, they are going to go at 10? Or they go at 8, we go at 10? That’s not the issue. The issue is do we agree on what steps are going to be taken mutually.”

In 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany, signed the JCPOA, which was ratified in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Three years later, however, former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the JCPOA and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the agreement.

The new US administration, under President Joe Biden, has claimed it is willing to rejoin the JCPOA, but conditioned the move on Tehran’s resumption of the obligations it has suspended under the nuclear agreement in response to the US withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to meet their end of the bargain.

However, Tehran says the US, as the first party that reneged on its commitments, should take the first step towards the deal’s revival and unconditionally remove all the sanctions imposed under Trump in a verifiable manner.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stressed last week the United States must first lift all the sanctions it has imposed on Tehran after unilaterally withdrawing from the JCPOA before the Islamic Republic would return to full compliance with its commitments under the deal.

“Americans must lift all sanctions first and then we will verify and if they are truly lifted, then we will return to our [JCPOA] commitments without any problem. We cannot trust the Americans’ promise,” Imam Khamenei said.

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