New US Sanctions in Breach of Both Letter, Spirit of JCPOA: Iranian Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations Kamal Kharrazi said the new US sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities are in violation of both the letter and spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

New US Sanctions in Breach of Both Letter, Spirit of JCPOA: Iranian Official

The new sanctions by the US are "violations" of the 2015 nuclear agreement in both the letter and the "spirit" of the deal, Kharrazi told FRANCE 24 on Friday.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed the Islamic Republic’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up to their undertakings.

He, however, emphasized that Tehran remained committed to the accord and would only walk away if the US administration withdrew first.

Elsewhere in the interview, Kharrazi said Iran was open to “dialogue” with Saudi Arabia despite escalating tensions.

“We know they (Riyadh) have made many mistakes in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Syria, but we are still for dialogue,” he said.

The former foreign minister further referred to Iran’s military advisory presence in Syria and Iraq, noting, “One of the reasons that we rushed to the help of the Syrian government, and the Iraqi government, was concern about our own security, because they are very close to our borders.”

Regarding French President Emmanuel Macron's recent reversal on Syria, in which he said the removal of President Bashar al-Assad was no longer a requirement, Kharrazi said Iran welcomed the shift. "We appreciate the position of President Macron," he said, adding, "It's more realistic."

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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