Iran has rejected informal meetings with the United States and European powers on how to revive the “Iran nuclear deal”. Also insisting that the US must first lift all its unilateral sanctions.
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said this is not the right time for talks proposed by the EU.
The United States says “it is very disappointed but we remain ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy on this issue.”
Tensions have been rising since the United States left a nuclear deal with Iran in 2018.
Former president Donald Trump had once again imposed crippling economic sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate a 2015 agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has resisted and responded, by retracting a number of key commitments.
Now the United States has announced its intention to join the agreement under President Joe Biden. But Washington insists that Tehran returns to full compliance first, while Iran says it will only do so after sanctions will lift.
“In light of latest actions and statements by the United States and the three European powers. Iran thinks it is not proper time to hold informal meetings with these countries proposed European Union,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
A White House spokesman said the United States would now consult other countries on the nuclear deal – Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – “for the best way forward”.
Last Tuesday, Iran began limiting some site inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The move is intended to put additional pressure on the United States and other JCPOA countries to force Washington to lift sanctions on the oil, banking and financial sectors.
Basics of Iran Nuclear deal
Iran worries about nuclear weapons: Some countries have long suspected that Iran has secret ambitions to build a nuclear bomb – it denies this.
How the deal was reached: In 2015, a grand deal between Iran and six other countries means Iran will accept restrictions on its nuclear activities for an end of harsh sanctions or sanctions that are damaging its economy.
What’s the problem now? Iran resumed banned nuclear work after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Although new leader Joe Biden wants to rejoin, both sides say the other must take the first step.