TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s president on Thursday warned that Tehran will not sign on to a final nuclear deal with world powers unless it is accompanied by the immediate lifting of all economic sanctions imposed on Iran over the controversial nuclear program.
The comments by Hassan Rouhani are likely to complicate efforts to reach a final deal by the end of June and could indicate new demands by the Iranian negotiating team.
“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. He spoke during a ceremony marking Iran’s nuclear technology day, which celebrates the country’s nuclear achievements.
Iran and the six world powers agreed last week on a framework deal, which is meant to curb Iran’s bomb-capable technology while giving Tehran quick access to bank accounts, oil markets and financial assets blocked by international sanctions.
But the framework deal does not include the immediate lifting of punitive sanctions imposed on Iran. Instead, it says the sanctions will be suspended once international monitors verify that Tehran is abiding by the limitations spelled out in the agreement.
The deal also specifies that if at any time Iran fails to fulfil its commitments, these sanctions would snap back into place.
The framework agreement has received major endorsement by the Iranian establishment, though hard-liners have overwhelmingly opposed it and described the deal as a “defeat” for Iran.
The West long has feared Iran’s nuclear program could allow it to build an atomic bomb. Iran denies the charge and says its program is for peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment
Rouhani described the framework deal in Switzerland as evidence that Iran has “not surrendered to a policy of pressure, sanctions and bullying.”
“This is our victory,” said Rouhani.