EU, US say sanctions removal constitutes ‘essential part’ of Iran deal

The European Union and the United States have confirmed that the removal of sanctions on Iran constitutes an “essential part” of the Iran nuclear agreement, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), whose revival is the subject of ongoing talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, since early in April.

“The European Union and the United States recognize that, alongside the return to full and effective implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of sanctions constitutes an essential part of the JCPOA,” the EU and the US said in a joint statement after a summit on Tuesday.

The JCPOA was ditched on May 8, 2018 by former US president Donald Trump, who then followed the unilateral move with tough economic sanctions on Iran, prompting Iran – which remained patient for an entire year – to reduce its nuclear compliance under the deal on May 8, 2019.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has promised to rejoin the JCPOA while strongly criticizing the former hawkish US administration’s Iran policy, including its “failed” maximum pressure campaign.

The Vienna talks began based on that promise, although the US – as a non-party to the JCPOA – is not officially partaking in the talks between Iran and the other remaining parties to the 2015 landmark agreement, namely Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.