Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday evening that “given the recent stances and measures taken by the US and three European countries, Iran does not consider the time appropriate for an informal meeting proposed by the European Coordinator of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),” Iran’s state media outlet IRNA reported.
Khatibzadeh said no changes are visible in the US stance and behavior and that US President Joe Biden’s administration is still following the same “failed maximum pressure policy of the former president Donald Trump”.
The implementation of the commitments of all parties to the JCPOA is not a matter of negotiations and all negotiations were conducted five years ago, IRNA quoted him as saying.
According to IRNA, he said: “Iran will respond with action and react to hostile actions and behavior in the same way as it returns to its JCPOA obligations in accordance with the lifting of sanctions.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington had said it would attend the talks, which the EU had hoped to host in the coming days.
However, the Biden administration had refused to provide sanctions relief before face-to-face negotiations with Iran had taken place, the report read.
Diplomats reportedly told The Wall Street Journal that Iran’s rejection didn’t kill off all hopes of direct negotiations in coming months and that Tehran’s move might be an attempt to gain leverage in future talks.
The US patience with Iran on returning to discussions over the 2015 nuclear deal is “not unlimited,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.
“Our patience is not unlimited, but we do believe, and the president has been clear on this … that the most effective way to ensure Iran could never acquire a nuclear weapon was through diplomacy,” Price said.