A senior aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that “snapback” sanctions should be dropped in any future negotiations over the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Snapback mechanisms are part of the JCPOA that can trigger UN sanctions on Iran. The US tried to invoke snapback sanctions in 2020, but the UN Security Council rejected the move because the US was no longer a party to the deal, having withdrawn in 2018.
Khamenei’s aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, spoke out against the snapback measures in an interview that was published on Monday. “This (trigger) mechanism must be abandoned as an irrational principle in the event of further negotiations,” he said.
Iran’s public stance has been that they will not negotiate with the US until sanctions are lifted. Velayati’s comments indicate Iran might be more flexible in negotiations with the incoming Biden administration than expected.
Either way, Iran has signaled its willingness to cooperate with the Biden administration. Iranian officials have made it clear that they are ready to quickly come into compliance with the JCPOA in exchange for sanctions relief from the US.
Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated Iran’s stance in comments last week. “If they return to their commitments, we will return to ours,” he said.