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June 7, 2018 3:28 pm

‘Compensate Iran for US Sanctions or We’re Out of JCPOA’: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Issues New Nuclear Deal Ultimatum

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Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif and former US Secretary of State John Kerry at a July 2014 meeting. Photo: US State Department via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran on Thursday took another step away from the faltering nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 with the former US administration and its international partners as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned that the Tehran regime will take “appropriate action” unless it is fully compensated for the tough sanctions revived by the Trump administration last month.

In a letter to foreign ministers denouncing the US for withdrawing from the JCPOA — the technical name for the nuclear deal — Zarif argued that for the deal to remain viable, the remaining signatories would need to guarantee that Iran will be “unconditionally” compensated for the impact of the new American sanctions.

Variously denouncing Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his letter as “preposterous,” “ridiculous,” and “lawless,” Zarif — a key architect of the JCPOA alongside John Kerry, the former US Secretary of State — called for “action” against the “ever-expanding bullying” of the US in order to “save not just the accord, but multilateralism and the rule of law.”

Zarif’s ultimatum to the remaining five partners in the JCPOA — France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China — came as Washington, DC was roiled by revelations that in 2016 the Obama Administration secretly granted Iran temporary access to the US financial system in order to convert $5.7 billion worth of Iranian currency deposited with an Omani bank into Euros.

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Despite the Treasury Department issuing a  license for the transaction in February 2016, the conversion was never carried out, a report from Senate Republicans investigating the matter said this week. The two US banks approached by the Obama administration to assist with the transaction both declined, citing the risks to corporate reputation of doing business with the Iranian regime.

President Trump weighed in on the debate on Thursday, calling for an investigation into what he described as the Obama Administration’s “totally illegal” action.

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