× Iran reneges on previous concessions in nuclear talks, U.S. official says
(CNN) — Iran has reneged on previous concessions from talks to reach a nuclear deal with world powers, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday, although a senior Iranian diplomat said that U.S. President Donald Trump had wrongly stated Iran’s demands in the past.
“I can confirm that they are already violating the spirit of the agreement,” the senior U.S. official told CNN.
“Not by a wide margin but there is no question about it, Iran has been non-compliant since its adoption in January 2016.”
On January 16, 2016, the Obama administration and five other nations agreed to impose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in return for Tehran putting its nuclear program on hold for a decade.
Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders spoke about the Trump administration’s strategy.
“This is about the principle of why we took a decision to not reimpose sanctions under the nuclear deal, and it’s a clear violation, that we will not stand for a violation of that deal,” Sanders said.
Later Tuesday, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States had “confused the Iran nuclear deal with other issues.”
“The United States has said in the past that its main objective was to keep the sanctions in place. But as long as Iran walks away from the agreement, U.S. sanctions will be lifted. To justify sanctions in this way is wrong. This is a misunderstanding of the JCPOA,” the report said.
The deal took years to negotiate and with broad international backing.
The final agreement was signed in July 2015 after years of discussions between the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China and Iran.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal in May 2017, accusing Iran of violating the deal’s spirit.
The European Union has reacted by setting up a new mechanism to avoid sanctions and has also stepped up trade with Iran, with some European companies moving their operations back to the country.