In light of anticipation that negotiations to salvage the pact will pick up shortly after the senior EU diplomat’s visit to the Islamic Republic, Iran said on Monday that the resurrection of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major nations depended on Washington.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said during a weekly televised news conference that “the ball is in Washington’s court now.”
The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrel met with senior Iranian security official Ali Shamkhani on Saturday. According to Iranian state news agency IRNA, Shamkhani stated that Tehran will continue to advance its nuclear program until the West decides to modify its “illegal behavior.”
“Iran’s retaliatory actions in the nuclear sector are merely legal and rational responses to US unilateralism and European inaction and will continue as long as the West’s illegal practices are not changed,” said Shamkhani.
The Iranian foreign minister announced on Saturday that Iran’s indirect talks with the US on resurrecting the 2015 nuclear agreement will soon restart in the midst of an EU attempt to end a months-long deadlock in the negotiations.
“We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said, adding that he had held a “long but positive meeting” with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
After 11 months of indirect negotiations between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration, the pact appeared to be on the verge of revival in March when the EU, which is coordinating negotiations, invited foreign ministers from the agreement’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement.
However, since then, the negotiations have stalled, mostly as a result of Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
In exchange for relief from economic sanctions, Iran promised to limit its nuclear program, but former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018.
Iran started to violate its fundamental nuclear restrictions approximately a year after the US withdrew and re-instituted crushing sanctions.
Although Iran claims its intentions are totally peaceful, Western powers worry that Iran is growing closer to being able to create a nuclear bomb if it wants to.