Iran guidelines out talks with US, EU to debate nuclear deal revival | European Union Information

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says the time for talks is not right given “recent actions” by the US and European countries.

Iran has ruled out holding an informal meeting with the United States and European countries to discuss ways to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, and has insisted that Washington first lift all of its unilateral sanctions.

“Given the recent actions and declarations of the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this to be the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries proposed by the EU foreign policy,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday Iranian media.

The US responded that it was “disappointed” but “ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy in order to achieve a mutual return to compliance with JCPOA commitments,” said a White House spokeswoman, referring to the joint comprehensive Action Plan, whose official name is the Iranian nuclear deal.

Iranian officials said Tehran was considering a proposal by EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell to hold an informal meeting with other parties to the nuclear pact and the US to reimpose sanctions on Iran after then-President Donald Trump terminated the deal in 2018 would have.

With the agreement signed in Vienna in 2015, Iran cut its nuclear program in order to gradually relax international sanctions. But since the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and re-imposed sanctions as part of a campaign against Tehran, Iran has stepped up its nuclear work in violation of the JCPOA.

Iran and the new US administration of President Joe Biden were at odds over who should take the first step to revive the deal. Iran insists that the US must lift sanctions first, while Washington says Tehran must first return to respecting the agreement it has gradually violated.

She said she would consult with her signatories – China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany – on the best way to go.

On Sunday before, the Iranian nuclear chief had asked the 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not to agree to a US-led push to criticize Tehran’s decision to cut back on cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

“If the IAEA Board of Governors passes a resolution against Iran, we will show an appropriate response,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Diplomats said it is still unclear whether the board will take a decision at a quarterly meeting this week.

On February 23, Tehran stopped implementing the so-called Additional Protocol, which had enabled the IAEA to conduct rapid inspections in undeclared locations.

However, under an agreement dated February 21, Tehran agreed to keep recording additional data under the 2015 agreement for up to three months, and ultimately let the IAEA access it if the sanctions are lifted.

Khatibzadeh said there was no need for the United States to “end its illegal and unilateral sanctions and return to its commitments” to “negotiate or find a solution in the UN Nuclear Watcher’s Board of Governors.”

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