Iran: No final nuke deal if sanctions not lifted immediately – USA TODAY
Iran’s president on Thursday said Tehran will not sign a final nuclear deal unless world powers lift economic sanctions imposed on the country immediately.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany — the so-called P5 +1 group — reached an understanding with Iran last week on limits to its nuclear program in return for lifting crippling economic sanctions, after extended talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The U.S. has previously said the sanctions would be lifted in phases, but the details have not yet been negotiated.
However, in a televised speech on Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani appeared to rule out a gradual removal of the successive round of sanctions that have hit hard its energy and financial sectors — and crippled its economy.
“We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day,” Rouhani said, according to Reuters. “We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks,” he said.
Rouhani was speaking at a ceremony to mark Iran’s nuclear technology day.
“The Iranian nation has been and will be the victor in the negotiations,” he said.
The deal says that sanctions will be suspended after international monitors verify that Iran is abiding by the limitations set out, and that the sanctions will resume if Iran fails to fulfill its obligations.
“It has never been our position that all of the sanctions against Iran should be removed from Day One,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.
Negotiators have until June 30 to fill in the critical details to assure Iran it will get relief from the sanctions as soon as possible, and guarantee the world powers that Iran won’t develop a nuclear weapon.
Rouhani on Thursday also called for an end to airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and said they were a “mistake.”
Not singling out any country in particular, he said, “You learned that it was wrong. You will learn, not later but soon, that you are making mistake in Yemen, too,” the Associated Press reported.
Rouhani also called for a cease-fire in Yemen to enable talks to end the crisis, the AP said, adding to calls by the Red Cross and Russia for a cease-fire to allow aid into the war-torn nation.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said the U.S. military has begun air-refueling operations for the coalition conducting the airstrikes, as Shiite rebels known as Houthis continued their advance on the southern port city of Aden.
The Pentagon also said the United States would expedite delivery of ammunition including bombs and guidance systems to the Saudis and other coalition members.
Contributing: Oren Dorell