February 22, 2021
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Sunday he saw a window of opportunity for Iran and the United States on sanctions after recent statements, adding he wanted US sanctions on Tehran to be lifted, the Turkish presidency said.
Tehran stressed Sunday that the United States must first lift sanctions on Iran if it wants to talk about salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal, reiterating it will not make the first move to restore the pact with major powers.
“President Erdogan, who stated that he wished the new US administration would abandon unilateral sanctions on Iran and lift restrictions on the prosperity of Iranian people, said the statements on the issue in recent days had led to a new window of opportunity,” Reuters quoted the presidency’s statement.
Erdogan said, “it was the most reasonable course of action for all parties to meet at the point of making the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) operational again, and that it is important to keep the door for dialogue open despite all difficulties.”
Last week, Washington said it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the accord, aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, while lifting most international sanctions.
Ankara, sanctioned by Washington last year for its purchase of Russian defense systems, has repeatedly called for a lifting of US sanctions on Iran and a return to the JCPOA.
Iran began gradually breaching the terms of the agreement in 2019, a year after former US President Donald Trump abandoned it and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.