Iran rejects Joe Biden’s lifting of nuclear sanctions as ‘insufficient’

Iran’s foreign minister ridiculed President Biden‘s last olive branch on Saturday – dismissing the end of sanctions on its civilian nuclear program as “insufficient” to resuscitate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“The lifting of certain sanctions can in itself translate into good faith,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, according to Iranian state media. “But it’s not enough.”

The State Department informed Congress on Friday that it had reinstated so-called “civ-nuke” waivers, allowing non-US companies to work on civilian nuclear projects in Iran without facing retaliation from the US government. .

The waivers were halted in 2020 as part of President Trump‘s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, as then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Tehran of a “nuclear push”.

Their return comes as nuclear talks in Vienna are set to resume – and the White House has quietly admitted that Iran is just months away from being able to produce enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. .

The Biden administration had offered an olive branch to Iran, reinstating “civ-nuke” waivers.
Chris Kleponis – Pool via CNP/Chris Kleponis
An Iranian security officer directs the media at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, with the reactor building seen in the background.
Iran insists it has the right to conduct nuclear research.
AP / Vahid Salemi

“This is not a signal that we are close to reaching an agreement on a mutual return to full implementation” of the JCPOA, the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, a department official said. of State to NBC News.

Instead, it’s a “return to the status quo,” the official said.

But Republicans on Saturday slammed the decision to reinstate the waivers — despite no concessions from Iran — as a sign of Biden’s weakness.

“It is unacceptable” tweeted Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “At a time when Iran is targeting the United States and our allies in the Middle East, the Biden administration is dismantling sanctions to allow them to expand their nuclear program.”

Meanwhile, Iran has insisted it will continue its nuclear expansion.

“Iran’s legal right to pursue research and development and to maintain its peaceful nuclear capabilities and achievements, alongside its security…cannot be limited by any agreement,” tweeted Ali Shamkhani, a senior official. Iranian security.

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