Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Iran's top negotiator speaks to the media.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian attends a press conference on October 27, 2021 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo: Meghdad Madadi/ATPImages/Getty Images)

Iran Says US Must Lift 'Tyrannical and Illegal' Sanctions to Return to Nuclear Deal

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has entered the talks with a strong will and elaborate preparations in order to ensure the removal of unlawful and cruel sanctions."

Jake Johnson

With Iran, China, European powers, and the U.S. set to resume nuclear talks in Vienna on Monday, Iranian negotiators made clear that the Biden administration must lift crippling economic sanctions if it hopes to return to the multilateral deal that former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has entered the talks with a strong will and elaborate preparations in order to ensure the removal of unlawful and cruel sanctions," Ali Baqeri-Kani, Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs and the nation's lead negotiator in Vienna, said Monday in an interview with the IRIB News Agency.

"They abandoned the pact, so they should return to it and lift all sanctions."

Further denouncing the sanctions as "tyrannical and illegal," Baqeri-Kani added that "the main focus and priority of the Vienna negotiations will be on the removal of sanctions," which have hobbled Iran's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of offering sanctions relief ahead of the nuclear talks, President Joe Biden hit Iran with additional sanctions last month ahead of the latest round of nuclear talks, adding to the punitive measures that Trump reimposed when he pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear accord over three and a half years ago—a move that pushed the two nations to the brink of all-out war.

Despite its rejection of Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran as a failure, the Biden administration has thus far refused to grant Iran's demand for sanctions relief as parties to the nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—attempt to chart a path for the U.S. to return to compliance.

Iranian officials, who are refusing to meet directly with the Biden administration's delegation in Vienna, emphasized Monday that the onus is on the U.S. to ensure the full revival of the nuclear accord, given that its actions have pushed the deal to the brink of collapse.

"Our demands are clear," one unnamed Iranian official close to the Vienna negotiations told Reuters on Monday. "Other parties and especially Americans should decide whether they want this deal to be revived or not. They abandoned the pact, so they should return to it and lift all sanctions."

Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Ministery, echoed that message, telling the media during a press conference Monday that "if the U.S. comes [to Vienna] to lift the sanctions, it will receive a ticket back to the JCPOA room."

"Otherwise," said Khatibzadeh, "it will remain out of the JCPOA table."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·


To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo