Iran grants clemency to over 5,000 prisoners

Iran’s Khamenei insists US sanctions must be lifted first


Tehran: Iran’s supreme leader reiterated on Sunday the Islamic Republic’s “determined policy” that Washington must lift all sanctions before Tehran resumes its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“The country s policy regarding interaction with JCPOA parties and the JCPOA itself has been clear,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech, referring to the accord by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It “entails that the Americans must lift the sanctions, all the sanctions, and then we will verify and if they are truly lifted, then we will return to our JCPOA commitments”.

Khamenei stressed that lifting sanctions “on paper is not acceptable” and had to be implemented “in practice”.

The agreement aims to provide Iran with international sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its controversial nuclear program.

But since former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions after the “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran, it has been sustaining life.

Joe Biden defeated Trump at the ballot box in November, indicating that he was ready to restart the agreement, but his administration insisted that Iran must first restore its nuclear commitments, with Tehran responding to the United States. The sanctions have suspended most of the nuclear commitments.

Tehran has insisted Washington make the first move by scrapping the sanctions.

“If they accept and implement the policy we have announced then everything will be fixed. And if they don t, things will continue as they are now, and it is not an issue,” Khamenei said.

He also repeated Tehran s stand that “maximum pressure has failed” and warned if the Biden adminstration “wants to continue maximum pressure, they will fail as well”.

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