Iran Rejects Informal Nuclear Weapons Talks With US And EU, Insists Biden Remove Sanctions First


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the meeting of the National Board to Combat Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Tehran, Iran, on November 21, 2020.

Iranian Presidency Brochure | Anadolu Agency | fake images

WASHINGTON – Iran on Sunday rejected an invitation from the global powers that signed the 2015 nuclear deal to discuss the regime’s possible return to the negotiating table, a significant setback in the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the deal.

“Taking into account the recent actions and statements of the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider that this is the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries, proposed by the EU’s foreign policy chief,” said the spokesman of the Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh. , according to Tehran state media.

The White House said Sunday that the Biden administration was disappointed with Iran’s decision to skip the informal meeting with the United States and the other signatories to the 2015 pact: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China.

“While we are disappointed in Iran’s response, we remain ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to fulfillment of JCPOA commitments,” a senior administration official told NBC News.

“We will consult with our P5 + 1 partners on the best way forward,” the official said, referring to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.

The Biden administration has previously said it wants to revive the nuclear deal, but will not suspend sanctions until Tehran complies again. Tehran has refused to negotiate as long as the US sanctions remain in place.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), managed by the Obama administration, lifted sanctions on Iran that had crippled its economy and cut its oil exports by roughly half. In exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran agreed to dismantle part of its nuclear program and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections.

The United States and its European allies believe that Iran has the ambition to develop a nuclear bomb. Tehran has denied that accusation.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump kept a campaign promise and withdrew the United States from the JCPOA, calling it the “worst deal ever.” Following Washington’s exit from the historic nuclear deal, other signatories to the pact have tried to keep the deal alive.

US President Donald Trump listens during a meeting in Washington, DC, the United States, on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Doug Mills | NYTimes | fake images

In a letter released by Sunda ‘, Republican senators warned President Joe Biden not to join the 2015 nuclear deal because it is “fraught with problems” and instead pushed for a more comprehensive deal.

“The scope of any deal with Iran must address the full range of Iranian conduct, including regional terrorism, ballistic missiles, and the detention of American citizens. No wonder Iran’s representatives support Assad’s ongoing atrocities in Syria. , attack our troops and diplomats in Iraq, have brought Lebanon to the brink of collapse, threaten our Israeli and Gulf partners, and contribute to the world’s largest humanitarian disaster in Yemen, “wrote Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jim Risch from Idaho, Marco Rubio from Florida, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and Rob Portman from Ohio in a joint letter to Biden.

“Despite criticism of the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, it cannot be denied that it has imposed a cost on Iran for its evil activities and now presents its administration with leverage to get a better deal from Iran. We know that it is not known. you can trust Iran to honor its commitments, ”the senators wrote.

Washington’s current confrontation with Tehran

An Iranian walks past historic graffiti on the walls of the former US embassy in Tehran during a protest on November 4, 2018.

Majid Saeedi | fake images

Washington’s strained relationship with Tehran took several turns for the worse under the Trump administration.

Last year, the United States carried out an airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander. Iran retaliated by launching at least a dozen missiles from its territory on January 7 at two military bases in Iraq that are home to US troops and coalition forces.

A day later from the White House, Trump said Iran appeared to “withdraw” and warned Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

In the immediate aftermath of the deadly US attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Trump administration had committed an “act of terror.”

Iranian mourners gather during the final stage of funeral processions for the slain High General Qasem Soleimani, in his hometown of Kerman, on January 7, 2020.

Atta Kenare | AFP | fake images

Soleimani’s death led the regime to further reduce compliance with the international nuclear pact. In January 2020, Iran said it would no longer limit its uranium enrichment capacity or nuclear research.

In October, the United States unilaterally reimposed UN sanctions on Tehran through a rollback process, which other members of the UN Security Council have previously said Washington does not have the authority to enforce because it withdrew from the deal. nuclear in 2018.

A month later, a top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated near Tehran, prompting the Iranian government to allege that Israel was behind the attack with the backing of the United States.

A view shows the scene of the attack that killed prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, outside Tehran, Iran, on November 27, 2020.

WANA via Reuters

During the summer of 2019, a series of attacks in the Persian Gulf steered the United States and Iran toward further confrontation.

In June, US officials said an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran said the plane was over its territory. That attack came a week after the United States blamed Iran for the attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf region and after four tankers were attacked in May.

In June, the United States imposed new sanctions on Iranian military leaders accused of shooting down the drone. The measures were also aimed at blocking financial resources for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Tensions flared again in September 2019 when the United States blamed Iran for the attacks in Saudi Arabia on the world’s largest oil processing plant and oil field.

That attack forced the kingdom to cut its production operations in half and sparked the biggest rise in crude prices in decades and renewed concerns of a new war in the Middle East. Iran maintains that it was not behind the attacks.

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