First lift the sanctions and then talk, Iranian leaders are demanding that the US return to the nuclear deal before Tehran meets its obligations under the treaty
Tehran/Washington (dpa) – Iran has rejected a nuclear meeting proposed by the EU with the US and other parties to the 2015 Vienna atomic deal.
“The US must return to the atomic agreement beforehand and lift the illegal sanctions against Iran (…) You don’t need negotiations for that,” State Department spokesman Said Chatibsadeh said on Sunday evening. Iran will only recognise deeds and then reciprocate accordingly, he said.
“We will return to our commitments as soon as sanctions are lifted,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Isna news agency. Tehran would, however, continue to cooperate with EU foreign affairs envoy Josep Borrell, the three European states as well as China and Russia, he said.
The administration of new US President Joe Biden expressed “disappointment” at Tehran’s reaction. However, a high-ranking government official said on Sunday evening (local time) that they were still prepared to engage in “meaningful diplomacy” in order to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the provisions of the Vienna nuclear agreement.
Biden had signalled that he wanted to return to the nuclear agreement, which the USA had left under the administration of his predecessor Donald Trump. In return, however, the USA is demanding that Iran first comply with the agreement again. Iran, on the other hand, is insisting that the USA first lift the severe economic sanctions imposed on the country by former President Trump. First lift the sanctions and then talk.
Last week, the leadership in Tehran restricted the access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the country’s nuclear facilities. Iran is also otherwise no longer abiding by its obligations in the nuclear deal, such as the uranium enrichment level. Both points were core elements of the Vienna agreement to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb.