U.S. must first lift all sanctions before Iran returns to 2015 nuke deal: Iran's top leader


TEHRAN (Xinhua) - If the West wants Iran to return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, the United States must first lift all sanctions, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday, official Tasnim News Agency reported.    
 "If they want Iran to return to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) ... the United States must lift the sanctions altogether, not in words and on paper," Khamenei said in an event along with commanders of the Iranian Army's Air Forces.    
 Iran would then verify if the sanctions have been effectively lifted, and once it has reached the conclusion they have, it would return to its obligations under the JCPOA, he added.    
 The Iranian top leader noted that this is the definite official policy of Iran, a consensus among its political leaders and will not change.    
 The U.S. and the European parties to the agreement violated all their commitments and therefore have no right to set any conditions, Khamenei said.    
 Only Iran has the right to set conditions for the agreement because Iran "fulfilled all its obligations from the beginning," he added.    
 The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and the world powers of the United States, Britain, Russia, France, China, as well as Germany and the European Union, in which Tehran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions.    
 Washington withdrew from the deal and imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, and then Tehran started to stop implementing parts of its obligations under the JCPOA.