US must 'effectively' remove all anti-Iran restrictions before returning to JCPOA: Parliament Speaker
Parliament Speaker said the incoming US administration’s likely return to the 2015 nuclear deal means nothing if all anti-Iran restrictions are not lifted.
Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was basically about the removal of sanctions against the Iranian nation.
Without “effective” removal of sanctions, the US return to the JCPOA will be irrelevant, Qalibaf said in an exclusive interview with Khamenei.ir, the official website of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The interview has been subsumed under a section of the website titled “Definitive Statement” which covers Iranian officials’ observations on the Leader’s recent comments about the United States’ obligations towards the Islamic Republic.
“If the US wants to return to the JCPOA, it must first cancel the sanctions it imposed on Iran following its withdrawal from the deal, and implement its JCPOA commitments,” he noted.
Qalibaf then explained the meaning of “effective” removal of sanctions. “It means we would be able to do our job in the economic sector normally and flawlessly, export our oil, export and import other goods; our banking system could fulfil its duty as usual; and the assets and money we have in other countries are unfrozen.”
“These measures must be taken in practice, and our nation, people and economic system see them in practice,” he added.
However, Qalibaf warned, it will not be acceptable to Iran if US sanctions removal does not happen in practice even if Washington claims it has lifted them on paper.
“The Americans have created these barriers, and they are the ones who must remove them. This is a clear demand,” Qalibaf made it clear.
“This is what we mean when we say the removal of sanctions must take place in practice;... we saw the signing [of the JCPOA] when [Barack] Obama and John Kerry were in office; we fulfilled our commitments, and they fulfilled theirs on paper, but we could not even import medicine,” the top lawmaker said.
Qalibaf’s remarks came after Leader Ayatollah Khamenei asserted that Iran’s “ultimate and definitive” position on the matter was that the US had to primarily lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Delivering a televised address on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei called the Iranians’ right to lead a sanctions-free existence “a right that has been usurped” by Washington.
This, the Leader noted, was Iran’s “logical and rational” demand from the US, instead of a mere ceremonial return to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and others, under which Washington is supposed to lift the sanctions.