Iran wants the United States to lift all sanctions against it in “one step” to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday.
“They (Americans) have left the JCPOA, and they have imposed sanctions. So obviously if they want to come back, they will have to lift all those sanctions, all together, in one step,” Araqchi, deputy foreign minister for political affairs, told Press TV.
Arqachi insisted that Tehran would not suspend its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent fissile purity in return for the release of $1 billion of its funds blocked in other countries because of US sanctions reimposed on Iran since 2018.
Iran and the US began indirect talks through European intermediaries in Vienna on Tuesday to revive the deal that Iran agreed in 2015 with six world powers – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, Germany and China.
Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has taken steps, perceived as extending an olive branch to Iran, to revive talks over the nuclear deal which has unraveled since his predecessor Trump pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018.
Biden reversed Trump’s determination that all UN sanctions against Iran had been restored and the State Department eased stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian diplomats in New York.
Yet, Tehran adamantly demanded that all Trump-era sanctions on Iran be lifted before taking any real action to return to the deal. The regime repeatedly made threats of upping their nuclear activities, effectively “turning up the heat” on Biden, trying to get as many concessions from Washington as possible before taking any real action.