On Sunday, Washington expressed its disappointment in Iran’s refusal to take part in an informal meeting with the US and the European members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on reinstating the negotiation for the 2015 nuclear deal. The Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, indicated that there is no need for Tehran to return to the negotiations unless the US returns to the JCPOA and lifts its sanctions on the country. Iran will return to its commitments once these steps are taken, said Khatibzadeh.
Saeed Khatibzadeh also noted that it will continue to collaborate with Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as France, Germany, the UK, and China, and Russia, even though it will not be intimidated by its criticisms and those of the US.
In response to the comments made by Spokesman Khatibzadeh, a spokeswoman from the White House stated that Washington was disappointed by Tehran’s decision but it will still be open to enter and re-engage in negotiations with Iran in order to achieve a return to mutual compliance within the context of the JCPOA agreement. The spokeswoman also reiterated President Joe Biden’s willingness to engage once more with the JCPOA members in a 5+1 format, including the UN as well.
The US, under the Trump administration, withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and subsequently reinstalled sanctions on Iran which were previously lifted, on the condition that Tehran limited its nuclear program. Negotiations between Iran and the US were reignited following Biden’s words on returning to the nuclear deal. However, Iran-US nuclear tensions escalated once more when both countries began a war of words on who should take the first step in returning to full compliance with the JCPOA.