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Iran's Zarif says Biden can lift sanctions with 'three executive orders'


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would fully implement its 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions on Tehran, which Zarif said could be done swiftly through “three executive orders”.

“If Mr. Biden is willing to fulfill U.S. commitments, we too can immediately return to our full commitments in the accord... and negotiations are possible within the framework of the P5 + 1 (six world powers in the accord),” Zarif said in the interview posted on the website of the state-run daily Iran on Wednesday.

“We are ready to discuss how the United States can re-enter the accord,” Zarif said. “The situation will improve in the next few months. Biden can lift all sanctions with three executive orders.”


Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the 2015 accord, agreed by Washington when he was vice president, if Iran also returns to compliance.

But diplomats and analysts have said it was unlikely to happen overnight as the distrustful adversaries would both want additional commitments from each other.

In the deal with the United States and other world powers, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. It began breaching the nuclear deal after President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 and started ratcheting up unilateral sanctions on Tehran.


Zarif did not insist on any compensation from the United States, unlike leaders such as President Hassan Rouhani who have demanded it in exchange for the “damages” Tehran has suffered under the renewed U.S. sanctions, implicitly arguing Washington should repay it for the lost oil revenues.

“This can be done automatically, and with no need to set conditions: the United States carries out its duties under (Security Council Resolution) 2231 (lift sanctions) and we will carry out our commitments under the nuclear deal,” said Zarif in a video recording of the interview issued by the newspaper.