White House: Sanctions Relief if Iran Complies

White House spokesman says Iran will only see sanctions relief if it complies with the nuclear deal.

Ben Ariel ,

White House spokesman Josh Earnest
White House spokesman Josh Earnest

White House spokesman Josh Earnest made clear on Thursday that Iran will only see sanctions relief if it complies with the nuclear deal it signed with world powers.

The comments came hours after Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned there could be no nuclear deal with the West if sanctions imposed on Tehran are not lifted.

Khamenei, who has the last say in all matters of policy, also said he believes Iran's parliament (majlis) should make up its own mind about landmark July 14 deal struck with six world powers.

"I believe... that it is not in the interest of the majlis to be sidelined," he said.

"I have no recommendation for the majlis on how it should examine it; it is up to the representatives of the nation to decide whether to reject or ratify it," added Khamenei.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran will be required to live up to the agreement in full before its starts benefiting from sanctions relief.

The deal between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States aims to curb Tehran's nuclear drive in exchange for a gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on its economy since 2006.

But critics say it requires Iran to do little more than pause parts of its program for a limited period in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, much of it will likely end up in the coffers of Islamist terrorist groups sponsored by Tehran.

Despite reaching the deal, Iran continues to vent its open hostility to the West and calls for Israel's destruction.

On Tuesday, Iran's top religious leader announced that the United States was still the country's "number one enemy," while another senior Iranian official reaffirmed Tehran's commitment to the "annihilation" of Israel.

Also on Tuesday, Basij militiamen were on hand in Tehran to unveil a plaque with "100 insults" towards America, outside the site of the former U.S. embassy. The display also involved the public burning of Israeli, American and British flags.