The United States is considering lifting sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as part of the talks on renewing the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), NBC News reported on Saturday, citing sources.
The sanctions against Khamenei, as well as some of his officials and military commanders, were imposed in June 2019 by the former US president, Donald Trump.
According to the sources, negotiators from the US and Iran discussed the initiative during the talks in Vienna. It is expected to be a part of a larger compromise that would result in Washington rejoining the JCPOA and Tehran fulfilling its JCPOA commitments.
In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and the EU. The deal required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and considerably downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.
In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran, which retaliated by gradually abandoning its commitments under the deal a year later.
Vienna has been hosting the sessions of the JCPOA joint commission, as well as informal meetings in different formats, aimed at restoring the Iran nuclear deal since April.