Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs Abbas Araghchi said on Friday that when Iran talks of sanction removal, it means all sanctions mentioned in the JCOPA, those imposed after the US withdrawal of the deal, as well as the ones reimposed under new labels through legal tricks.
In an interview with the website of the Supreme Leader’s Office, Araghchi underlined that if the US wanted to return to the JCPOA, it would remove all sanctions first, because the deal without removing sanction has no sense.
The diplomat also stated that Iran’s stance is totally clear, as it says sanctions status must go back to the status in January 2017. It means that any sanctions that didn’t exist at that time must cease to exist now and Iran will verify any US measure before full compliance with the JCPOA, according to Arachchi.
On the sanctions removal verification, the Foreign Ministry official explained that sanctions are firstly removed on paper, but what is important for Iran is its practical impact.
“We don’t care if the US signs [a paper] allowing Iran sell its oil… rather, what is important for us is that we have the ability to sell our oil without any problem in shipping, insurance and other issues. In fact, our oil must be delivered to the purchaser and we received its price through banking system,” Araghchi noted.
Some sanctions have immediate impact when removed, but some others would take a long time to prove effective, according to Arachghi who added that those sanctions targeting investment in Iran, would take months to bear fruit when lifted.
He also said that the US which is addicted to sanctions as a means of foreign policy on his words, used to make hurdles to minimize Iran’s benefits from sanctions removal even in Obama administration.
Referring to the recent legislative action by Iran’s parliament which required the government to resume 20% uranium enrichment, Araghchi said that reducing compliance with the JCPOA is line with Iran’s national security interests.
He underlined that these measure along with other non-compliance measures were taken in accordance with paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which allows a party to reciprocate any failure by another party to fulfill its commitments.
Araghchi didn’t rule out the possibility that the US will do minor measures and pretend it has removed sanctions, adding, “There seems they haven’t reached a conclusion yet on their Iran policy, and they might take such measure.”
On the damages imposed on Iran’s economy through the sanctions, the official said that Iran would seek compensation as core part of any future negotiation, but not as a pre-condition for US return to the JCPOA.
In line with the policies declared by the Supreme Leader stating that making the country resistant to any sanctions, Araghchi opined that entering strategic partnerships with neighboring countries, already being pursued Iran, would be a great way to make a consensus against US sanctions.
He also said that the Supreme Leader had been guiding the negotiations during the whole process but he never stopped supporting diplomats involved in talks and never intervened in details of negotiations.