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Biden says U.S. won't lift sanctions until Iran halts uranium enrichment

Biden says U.S. wont lift sanctions until Iran halts uranium enrichment

Washington: US President Joe Biden, in a CBS air interview on Sunday said he will not lift economic sanctions against Iran until it adheres with the terms agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal.

However, the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Tehran would only return to compliance if the US first lifted all the economic sanctions.

The 2015 deal sought to limit Iran's nuclear programme, with sanctions eased in return.

Former US President Donald Trump, however, withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, leading Iran to roll back on a number of its commitments.

Biden gave an affirmative nod when a journalist asked if the Iranians would first have to stop enriching uranium.

Iran, which says its nuclear programme is peaceful, has been increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium which can be used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear bombs.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal terms - an agreement reached between Iran, the US, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK - Tehran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to access sites and facilities.

In return, the sanctions imposed on Tehran were lifted.

But Trump withdrew the US from the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in an effort to force Iran to negotiate a new accord, and reinstated economic sanctions.

Trump wanted to place indefinite curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme and also halt its development of ballistic missiles.

Ali Khamenei said that for Iran to return to its commitments under the deal, the US must first "abolish all sanctions", Iranian state TV reported on Sunday.

"We will assess, and if we see that they have acted faithfully in this regard, we will return to our commitment," he said, adding: "It is the irreversible and final decision and all Iranian officials have consensus over it."

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TAGS:Joe BidenIran nuclear deal
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