Iran rules out nuclear deal meeting with US, says time not 'suitable'

Henrietta Brewer
March 3, 2021

President Biden has said he wants to rejoin the agreement, but that Iran must first return to compliance with its terms, and also agree to negotiations over its ballistic missile program and regional aggression.

The Biden administration had expressed its intention to attend the meeting. "It doesn't work with Iran".

"Considering the recent positions and actions of the United States and the three European countries, (Iran) does not consider the time suitable to hold the informal meeting proposed by the European coordinator", foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement. Earlier this week, news agencies reported on a confidential IAEA document that said Iran had added to its stockpile 17.6 kg of uranium enriched up to 20%, in violation of the 3.67% cap set by the JCPOA.

Then-President Donald Trump reimposed crippling economic sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the 2015 accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation has said that if U.S. sanctions are still not lifted after three months, it will start erasing the recordings. But Tehran says it will only reverse its nuclear violations if Washington lifts sanctions.

"We don't think that this is the end of the road".

The UN move had little practical effect as almost all members of the world body had rejected Trump's determination because the U.S. was no longer a participant in the nuclear deal.

This official and others also emphasized that the Iranian response comes in the context of a meeting Monday of the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose board of governors will receive and make public statements about a quarterly report on Iran's lack of compliance with the nuclear deal.

The United States said on Sunday it was disappointed that Iran had ruled out an informal meeting to discuss ways to revive its nuclear deal with major powers, but said it remained ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy on the issue.

On Friday, the Biden administration further strained ties with the Saudis when it published a declassified intelligence report finding that Saudi Arabia's crown prince had ordered an operation to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and USA resident who was brutally slain at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Iran has not listed the measures it stopped implementing this week but they include the so-called Additional Protocol enabling the IAEA to carry out snap inspections at undeclared locations.

State Department spokesman Ned Price has said the USA and its allies could have a diplomatic framework that provides "limited sanctions relief" on Iran in return for verifiable and permanent restrictions on its nuclear program.

Other reports by iNewsToday