Iran wants ‘action not words’ from parties to nuclear deal

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Salampix/Abaca Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran wants to see “action not words” from the signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, after the new U.S. administration said it could return to the pact that was abandoned by former President Donald Trump.

“We have heard many nice words and promises which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken. Words and promises are no good. This time [we want] only action from the other side and we will also act,” Khamenei said in a televised speech on February 17.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said Washington will return to the nuclear pact abandoned by Trump in 2018 if Tehran first resumes full compliance. Tehran says Washington must act first.

Under the deal with the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France, and Britain, Iran agreed to curbs on its uranium-enrichment program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Iran has always denied pursuing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes.

Since Trump abandoned the agreement and reimposed sanctions, Tehran has gradually breached the deal’s terms.

On February 16, the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had informed it that it plans to reduce its cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog’s inspectors as of February 23.

The Vienna-based agency said that Tehran had told it that it would stop implementing “voluntary transparency measures” including the so-called Additional Protocol, which allows IAEA inspectors to visit undeclared sites in Iran at short notice.