“There was no need to take a position (on framework agreement),” Khamenei said. “The officials are saying that nothing has been done yet and nothing is obligatory. I neither agree or disagree.”
“(The sanctions) should be lifted all together on the same day of the agreement, not six months or one year later,” Khamenei said. “If lifting of sanctions are supposed to be connected to a process, then why do we negotiate?” (IRNA/NYTimes, 9 April)
During the announcement of the framework agreement in Lausanne, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif read a joint statement that indeed linked the lifting of sanctions to IAEA and UNSC processes. If Khamenei was referencing those processes, then this could constitute a step backward.
“The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the U.S. will cease the application of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments,” said Mogherini/Zarif statement.
“A new UN Security Council Resolution will endorse the JCPOA, terminating all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time,” Mogherini/Zarif statement added.
According to the joint statement, the EU/U.S. sanctions are lifted/not applied after IAEA certifies Iran’s compliance with the agreement, which could be days or months after the day the agreement is signed. Meanwhile, the UNSC would put “certain restrictive measure,” which could include issues related to Iran’s ballistic missile program. The new UNSCR will not be put to a vote on the day the agreement is signed.
There is a serious discrepancy between Ayatollah Khamenei's understanding of the terms of the agreement and what the joint statement by Mogherini and Zarif said. The two sides will now need to iron out their different interpretations of what was agreed to in Lausanne prior to the signing of JCPOA. Nothing goes easy with these talks!
UPDATE: The State Department said Thursday the sanctions would be removed only gradually.
“We’re not going to respond to every public statement made by Iranian officials or negotiate in public. Sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action," said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.
Photo credit: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressing issues related to Iran Talks in Lausanne; 9 April 2015 (Mehr News Agency)