UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on US President Joe Biden’s administration to lift or lift all sanctions against Iran, as agreed in a 2015 agreement to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
In a report to the UN Security Council, Guterres also called on the United States to “extend the oil trade exemptions with the Islamic Republic of Iran and fully renew the nuclear non-proliferation exemptions.”
The 15-member council will discuss the Secretary-General’s biannual report on Tuesday on the implementation of a 2015 resolution enshrining the nuclear deal between Iran, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.
Guterres’ call to Washington comes amid talks to revive what is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under which Iran accepted restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for lifting many foreign sanctions against it.
Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the pact in 2018 and re-imposed tough sanctions, prompting Tehran to violate some of the nuclear limits in 2019.
“I call on the United States to lift or lift the sanctions outlined in the plan,” said Guterres, who also called on Iran to fully re-implement the agreement.
Iran has refined uranium to 60% purity, well above the agreement limit of 3.67% and much closer to the 90% acceptable for atomic bombs if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 agreement.
Guterres said: “I continue to believe that a full restoration of the plan remains the best way to ensure that the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran remains exclusively peaceful.”