UN urges US to lift anti-Iran sanctions in line with JCPOA

UN urges US to lift anti-Iran sanctions in line with JCPOA

The United Nations has called on the United States to lift sanctions against Iran in line with the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, which Washington has abandoned, and extend waivers regarding oil trade with the Islamic Republic, amid a diplomatic process in Vienna to revitalize the troubled agreement.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The United Nations has called on the United States to lift sanctions against Iran in line with the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, which Washington has abandoned, and extend waivers regarding oil trade with the Islamic Republic, amid a diplomatic process in Vienna to revitalize the troubled agreement.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo made the remarks on Tuesday as she briefed the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions as outlined in the plan and extend the waivers regarding the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” she said.

“Also important is the extension of US waivers regarding certain civilian nuclear-related activities,” she added, stressing that waiver extensions were also needed for exchanging enriched uranium out of Iran for natural uranium.

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.

The US administration of President Joe Biden had voiced a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — began negotiations in the Austrian capital in April in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.

The seventh round of the Vienna talks, the first under Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration, started on November 29 after a five-month pause.

Days into the renewed talks, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US bans and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.

Elsewhere in her comments, DiCarlo said that given the status of the Vienna talks, full restoration of the JCPOA and Resolution 2231 would require “additional effort and patience.”

“In recent days, both Iran and the United States have again affirmed their seriousness in seeking to return to full implementation of the JCPOA. The Secretary-General is encouraged by these pledges and calls on both countries to expeditiously translate these commitments into a mutually acceptable agreement,” she added.

“The Secretary-General hopes that in their current negotiations, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran will mobilize the same spirit and commitment that resulted in the JCPOA. There is simply no viable alternative to the full and effective implementation of the Plan and the resolution.”

Also speaking during Tuesday’s meeting, Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi said that to resume its commitments under the JCPOA, Tehran was not “imposing any preconditions or new conditions,” and that all the remedial measures it has taken since Washington’s withdrawal were “reversible.”

Attempts to link the JCPOA’s implementation to extraneous issues or raising ideas such as renegotiation to expand its scope or extend its timelines or proposals are totally unacceptable and doomed to fail, he said.

He said the pillars of the JCPOA were Iran’s nuclear-related commitments and the reciprocal lifting of UN, European Union and US sanctions, as well as promoting normal economic and trade relations with Iran, but his country had been completely deprived of its rights and benefits under the agreement for almost four years.

Takht-Ravanchi further said that unlawful and inhumane US sanctions represented an all-out economic war against Iran, equivalent to economic terrorism.

The Islamic Republic has exercised maximum restraint and paid a heavy price to preserve the JCPOA; therefore, asking for objective and verifiable guarantees from the party “responsible for the whole mess” is absolutely warranted and necessary, according to the Iranian envoy.

The Vienna talks can succeed not by setting artificial deadlines or threats, unfounded accusations or disinformation campaigns, but only by engaging in negotiations with genuine political will and in good faith, he added.

Additionally, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN said the United States’ policy, not Iran’s, is the source of the problem.

Dmitry Polyanskiy also expressed discouragement in Western colleagues making hasty comments about Iran’s negotiating position, which is still developing, meaning that any far-reaching conclusions outlined in New York are inappropriate.

“It is easier to break than build,” he said. “The main wrecker role” was played by the United States, leaving the JCPOA in 2018.

Explaining why the process has been slow, he said the international community waited for six months while the Biden administration determined its policy.

The United States must confirm its words with deeds, but instead, it continues its policy of maximum pressure on Iran, whose actions have been in reaction to those destructive steps, Polyanskiy said.

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