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Iran’s inviolable JCPOA policy in words of Ayatollah Khamenei

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has outlined Iran’s policy on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, paving the way for Iranian diplomats to pursue the country’s interests in a more effective way.

The Leader laid out Iran’s policy on the nuclear deal -officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)- in a recent speech delivered on the occasion of the Persian New Year.

He outlined a process in which the U.S. should lift all sanctions first in order for Iran to resume fully implementing the JCPOA.

“This policy is that the Americans should lift all sanctions. After that, we will verify. If the sanctions have been lifted, we will return to our Barjam [JCPOA] commitments. We will return without any problem. This is a definite policy. We do not consider American promises to be valid. If they say that they will lift them on paper, this is of no use. What is necessary is action! They should lift the sanctions in practice. Subsequently, we will verify their statements to make sure that the sanctions have been lifted. Then, we will resume our commitments,” the Leader said on March 21.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that “this policy will not be violated in any way.”

The Leader’s comments came at a time when Iran and the United States are at loggerheads over how to revive the nuclear deal and that the comments may be intended to make the Americans understand that Iran will not make the first move toward reviving the JCPOA because it was not the party that violated the deal first. 

This policy was articulated at a very important time. Iranian and U.S. diplomats are going to visit Vienna next week in a bid to discuss ways to revive the JCPOA, although they will not hold direct talks. The JCPOA parties and the U.S. will be in Vienna on Tuesday in what appeared to the first serious efforts to overcome difficulties arising from the U.S.’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. Iranian officials said that there will be no meeting between the U.S. and Iran. 

“No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on Friday.