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TEHRAN: US steps on lifting sanctions are “good but not enough”, Iran said Saturday, following Washington’s announcement it was waiving sanctions on Iran’s civil nuclear programme.

The US action came as talks to restore a 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers over its nuclear programme reached an advanced stage, with the issue of sanctions relief a major issue.

“The lifting of some sanctions can, in the true sense of the word, translate into their good will. Americans talk about it, but it should be known that what happens on paper is good but not enough,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, quoted by ISNA news agency.

The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council also reflected Tehran’s view that the US move falls short.

“Real, effective and verifiable economic benefit for Iran is a necessary condition for the formation of an agreement,” Ali Shamkhani said in a tweet.

“The show of lifting sanctions is not considered a constructive effort.” The US State Department said Friday it was waiving sanctions on Iran’s civil nuclear programme in a technical step necessary to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Former president Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran, prompting the Islamic republic to begin pulling back from its commitments under the deal.

The waiver allows other countries and companies to participate in Iran’s civil nuclear programme without triggering US sanctions on them, in the name of promoting safety and non-proliferation.

Iran’s civil programme includes growing stockpiles of enriched uranium.

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