Iran will “immediately reverse” actions in its nuclear programme when U.S. sanctions are lifted, its foreign minister said on Friday, reiterating Tehran’s position on Washington’s offer to revive talks.
The Joe Biden administration said on Thursday it was ready to revive a 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers that former president Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 before reimposing sanctions on Iran.
When sanctions are lifted, “we will then immediately reverse all remedial measures. Simple,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.
Highlighting the urgency of a diplomatic solution to the standoff, a senior Iranian official told Reuters that Tehran was considering Washington’s offer to talk about the revival of the deal.
“But first they should return to the deal. Then within the framework of the 2015 deal, a mechanism to basically synchronise steps can be discussed,” the official said.
Washington said on Thursday it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to the nuclear accord that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“We have never sought nuclear weapons and this is not part of our defence doctrine,” the official said. “Our message is very clear. Lift all the sanctions and give diplomacy a chance.”
Tehran has set a Feb. 23 deadline for Washington to begin reversing sanctions, otherwise, it says, it will take its biggest step yet to breach the deal – banning short-notice inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The United States and the European parties to the accord have urged Iran to refrain from that step and repeated their concerns over recent actions by Tehran to produce uranium enriched up to 20% and uranium metal.