March 2, 2021
The United States remains ready to meet Iran but was not “dogmatic” about how, after Tehran rejected EU-proposed talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the State Department said on Monday.
“As we have made clear, the United States is prepared to meet with Iran to address the way forward on a mutual return to the compliance with the JCPOA. Resumption of a compliance can’t happen without all sides discussing the details,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“We are not dogmatic about what form that takes. What we are dogmatic about is the underlined commitment… that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon,” he added.
Washington and Tehran are locked in a standoff over reviving nuclear talks.
Iran said on Sunday it does not consider the time to be “suitable” for an informal meeting on reviving the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal, proposed by European powers and involving the US.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has signaled to Iran its willingness to return to talks to revive the nuclear deal former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.
Biden reversed Trump’s determination that all UN sanctions against Iran had been restored. And the State Department eased stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian diplomats in New York.
Yet, Tehran demanded that all Trump-era sanctions on Iran be lifted before taking any real action to return to the deal.
“There has still been no change in US positions and behaviour yet,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, adding that the Biden administration has continued “Trump’s failed policy of maximum pressure.”
Biden’s administration said it had no plans to take additional steps on Iran before diplomatic conversation, all the while facing mounting pressure from Republican lawmakers to not “give up leverage” and “appease” Tehran by lifting sanctions.