Minister: Iran will return to nuclear talks `very soon'

UN General Assembly

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s new foreign minister said Friday the country will return to nuclear negotiations “very soon,” but accused the Biden administration of sending contradictory messages — saying it wants to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal while slapping new sanctions on Tehran and not taking “an iota of positive action.”

Hossain Amir Abdollah said the government, which took power last month, believes that President Joe Biden “keeps carrying close to his heart the thick file of the Trump sanctions against Iran, even while seemingly pursuing negotiations.”

Former President Donald Trump routinely denounced the nuclear accord as the “worst deal ever negotiated” and withdrew from the agreement in 2018 after an ill-fated attempt to bring the other parties — Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran — on board with additional restrictions. After withdrawing, Trump embarked on what he called a “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran, re-imposing all the U.S. sanctions that had been eased under the deal and adding penalties.

In a media briefing on Iran’s new foreign policy, Amir Abdollah was very skeptical about the Biden administration’s real intentions, stressing that actions are more important than “empty but beautiful words,” and so is “the comportment” and “behavior” of the United States toward Iran.

Iran’s top diplomat sharply criticized additional sanctions imposed by the Biden administration, as well as its refusal to give a green light for Iran to access millions of dollars of its money frozen in South Korea and Japanese banks to buy COVID-19 vaccines and medicine, and suddenly asking Britain to stop payment of 42-year-old debts.