After U.S. Proposes Talks, Iran Says It Will 'Immediately' Reverse Nuclear Actions if Sanctions Lifted

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani at a ceremony marking 'National Nuclear Day' in Tehran, two years ago.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani at a ceremony marking 'National Nuclear Day' in Tehran, two years ago.Credit: Iranian Presidency Office via AP

Iran will "immediately reverse" actions in respect to its nuclear program when U.S. sanctions are lifted, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 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," 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.

Breaches of the deal by Iran began in 2019, about a year after Trump withdrew from it.

A photo provided by Maxar Technologies last month shows an overview of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility.Credit: AFP PHOTO / Satellite image © 2021 Maxar Technologies

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that the Biden administration would return to the accord if Tehran came into full compliance with it.

The United Kingdom meanwhile said on Friday that Iran must come back into compliance with the nuclear deal and that the West should not send signals that it is prepared to overlook Tehran's breaches of the accord.

"I don't think that we should be sending a signal that we are going to overlook this non-compliance or just brush it under the carpet," James Cleverly, Britain's junior foreign minister who covers the Middle East and North Africa, told the BBC.

"This is in Iran's hands, they are the ones breaching the conditions of the JCPOA, they are the ones that can do something about this, and they should come back into compliance," he said.

Tehran has set a February  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 UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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