Iran Formally Rejects Offer Of Direct EU-Brokered Nuclear Talks With Biden Admin
Iran on Sunday issued a firm and definitive rejection of the Biden administration’s offer of European Union sponsored direct nuclear talks to restore the terms of the JCPOA nuclear deal, according to senior diplomats cited in The Wall Street Journal.
Perhaps as predicted, the US hasn’t budged from its position that Iran must return to compliance first – in particular on uranium enrichment levels stipulated by the 2015 deal – in order to ease sanctions. Tehran meanwhile has pointed out it’s Washington that walked away from the deal first.
The Islamic Republic has flatly “ruled out” the talks given Washington intransigence on sanctions relief. “Two senior Western diplomats said Iran has ruled out attending a meeting in Europe for now, saying it wanted a guarantee first that the US. would lift some sanctions after the meeting,” WSJ writes.
Later in the day Sunday Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the US must fulfill commitments frist because “The Islamic Republic abided by all its #JCPOA commitments for a long time,” according to a tweet.
The WSJ in its latest reporting underscores that more escalation is just around the corner, which increasingly suggests hopes for a restored deal could be effectively dead.
The Islamic Republic abided by all its #JCPOA commitments for a long time, because according to Islamic teachings, commitments should be fulfilled. After they repeatedly breached the JCPOA, Iran acted upon the Quranic verse, “…break off with them in a like manner.” [8:58]
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) February 28, 2021
Amid the ongoing diplomatic back-and-forth seeking some level of breakthrough to get both sides to the table, “France, the U.K. and Germany are working on a resolution they plan to present to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency next week that would censure Iran for its recent steps to expand its nuclear activities and its failure to cooperate with the agency’s probe into its nuclear work,” WSJ continues.
“Iran has warned if the censure move goes ahead it might end an agreement it struck earlier this month with the IAEA that would allow most international inspections to continue,” the report notes.
Iran is still holding out the threat that at any time it could restrict and boot IAEA inspectors from the country – inspections which are only now continuing on a 3-month conditional basis.
Sun, 02/28/2021 – 13:45