Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday warned Tehran will not reverse its nuclear program until the U.S. drops all sanctions against the Islamic republic.
“Iran has fulfilled all its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, not the United States and the three European countries … If they want Iran to return to its commitments, the United States must lift all sanctions first,” Khamenei wrote on Twitter.
“After verifying whether all sanctions have been lifted, then we will return to full compliance,” he wrote.
The side with the right to set conditions to #JCPOA is Iran since it abided by all its commitments, not US or 3 European countries who breached theirs.
If they want Iran to return, US must lift all sanctions. We'll verify & if it's done properly, we’ll return to our commitments.
— Khamenei.ir 🇷 (@khamenei_ir) February 7, 2021
Former President Donald Trump kept his campaign promise and withdrew the U.S. in 2018 from the Obama-negotiated atomic deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” Trump said at the time. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
U.S. President Joe Biden has since said he will seek to revive the deal, but insisted Iran must first reverse its nuclear steps.
“This is the definitive and irreversible policy of the Islamic Republic, and all of the country’s officials are unanimous on this, and no one will deviate from it,” Khamenei added Sunday, reiterating Iranian leaders’ previous remarks that the U.S. must ease its sanctions before Iran comes back into compliance.
The supreme leader, 81, has the final say on all matters of state in Iran and approved the efforts at reaching the nuclear deal in 2015.
Iran has already begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels and is “ahead of schedule” in taking it to a purity level of 20 percent, and is installing additional centrifuges in nuclear testing sites.
The country has announced its moves and insisted that all breaches of the pact are easily reversible. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
AP contributed to this story