State Department: no sanctions relief without Iran curbing nuclear enrichment

The U.S. State Department, headed by Secretary of State John Kerry (pictured), said no sanctions on Iran will be lifted unless international monitors can verify that the Islamic Republic is curbing nuclear enrichment in accordance with the nuclear deal. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The U.S. State Department said Thursday that any relief in sanctions on Iran as part of a final nuclear deal will only take place if it is verified that Iran is curbing its enrichment, as the recently reached framework understanding stipulates. The American statement came after an Iranian demand to lift all sanctions immediately.

“The process of sanctions suspension or relief will only begin after Iran has completed its major nuclear steps and the breakout time has been increased to at least a year,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said, The Associated Press reported. “That’s consistent with what we said over the last week or so, and that was agreed upon by all the parties in Lausanne.”

The deadline for a final nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers is June 30. Earlier on Thursday, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani demanded that all sanctions against his country be lifted on the first day a final deal is implemented.

“We will not sign any agreement unless all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the first day of the implementation of the deal,” Rouhani said, despite the fact that current deal stipulates that lifting sanctions is contingent on international verification that Iran is abiding by the conditions of the deal.

Also on Thursday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that no nuclear deal has been finalized and that the current agreement remains non-binding. 

"I’m neither for nor against the outcome of the recent talks. According to the Iranian officials involved no measure has been taken yet and there are no binding results. I told President Rouhani and Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif that any agreement must preserve Iran's right to scientific and technological development. They need to find a way for that to happen," said Khamenei.

Posted on April 9, 2015 .