Iran has urged the new US administration to “unconditionally” lift sanctions imposed by Donald Trump to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in an op-ed, published in the US foreign policy magazine Foreign Affairs, that Tehran is ready to return to the deal if US agrees to fulfill JCPOA obligations.

Former president Trump withdrew from the deal unilaterally in 2018 and reimposed stringent sanctions and put the deal in jeopardy.

“The new administration in Washington has a fundamental choice to make,” Zarif, who is considered one of the architects of the 2015 deal, wrote.

“It can embrace the failed policies of the Trump administration”, or Biden “can choose a better path by ending Trump’s failed policy of ‘maximum pressure’ and returning to the deal his predecessor abandoned”, he added.

“But if Washington instead insists on extracting concessions, then this opportunity will be lost.”

The sanctions on oil exports and international banking ties, plunged Iran’s economy into a deep recession.

In retaliation, Iran suspended its compliance to the deal in 2019 on Trump refusal to lift sanctions and Europe’s failure to provide Tehran with the JCPOA’s economic benefits.

The Iranian government has hinted at engaging with Biden, who has also expressed willingness to return to diplomacy with Tehran.

Anthony Blinken, Biden’s nominated secretary of state, said at a Senate confirmation hearing that Trump had made Iran “more dangerous”.

Blinken said Biden wants to return to the agreement, but made it conditional to Tehran’s return to strict compliance with its commitments.

Tehran, however, has insisted that Washington must first lift all sanctions and return to its own JCPOA obligations.

“The incoming Biden administration can still salvage the nuclear agreement, but only if it can muster the genuine political will in Washington to demonstrate that the United States is ready to be a real partner in collective efforts,” Zarif wrote.

“The administration should begin by unconditionally removing, with full effect, all sanctions imposed, reimposed, or relabeled since Trump took office,” he added.

“In turn, Iran would reverse all the remedial measures it has taken in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.”

Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal was agreed between Iran, the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

Under the agreement, Iran guaranteed that it would not seek an atomic bomb, but use nuclear energy for peaceful, civilian use.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at


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