Iran refused to lift U.S. sanctions in stages

Iranian Foreign Ministry says Tehran wants U.S. to lift all previously imposed sanctions

Iran insists that the United States remove all previously imposed sanctions, rejecting any “gradual” easing of restrictions, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday. The statement was made on the eve of talks scheduled for next week on the resumption of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the world’s leading powers. These talks will take place in Vienna.

Tehran made the statement despite France calling on Iran to demonstrate a constructive position during the talks, in which Washington will also participate.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said his country opposes a gradual easing of sanctions.

“A step-by-step (lifting of sanctions) is not considered,” Khatibzadeh said in an interview with state-run Press TV, “The final position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the removal of all U.S. sanctions.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposing sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to violate some points of the agreement New President Joe Biden wants to renew U.S. participation in the agreement, but Washington and Tehran cannot decide who should make the first move.

The State Department said the focus of the Vienna talks will be “the nuclear steps Iran will need to take to return to compliance” with the deal.

Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain – parties to the 2015 agreement – held online talks Friday to discuss a possible return of the United States to the agreement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said after a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif on Saturday that he asked Tehran to avoid further violations of its nuclear commitments.

“I called on Iran to be constructive during the upcoming talks,” Le Drian said. He said the negotiators will determine “the steps that will need to be taken in order to return to full compliance with the nuclear deal.”

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