WASHINGTON– Iran has no strategies to hold talks with the Biden administration and is awaiting the brand-new U.S. president to take the initial step to lift sanctions and return the U.S. to the 2015 multinational nuclear agreement, Tehran’s U.N. ambassador informed NBC News on Monday.
In his first interview given that President Joe Biden was sworn in last week, Amb. Majid Takht Ravanchi told NBC’s Chief Foreign Reporter Richard Engel that Iran has not spoken to the brand-new administration.
” No, there has not been any discussion between Iran and the U.S. after Biden entered into office,” Ravanchi stated.
Asked if there were plans to open a direct dialogue with Washington or indirect interaction through an intermediary, perhaps via the Swiss government, Ravanchi stated, “We are not planning to start anything.”
The Swiss foreign ministry manages any official U.S. communication with Iran, since Washington has no embassy in Tehran and no formal diplomatic relations with Iran.
Echoing comparable declarations from Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian diplomat said Tehran was not prepared to provide goodwill gestures or confidence-building actions till the U.S. returned to the nuclear agreement it left in 2018.
In the meantime, Iran remained in no rush, Ravanchi stated.
” It depends on the U.S. to decide what course of action to take. We’re not in a rush,” he stated.
Iran’s economy has dramatically contracted under the weight of U.S. sanctions which were reimposed after ex-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in 2018 from a global nuclear agreement in between Iran and world powers. The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Strategy or JCPOA, presented rigorous limitations on Iran’s nuclear program in return for reducing economic sanctions.
As a prospect, Biden stated he would have the United States return to the contract if Iran satisfied its obligations under the offer.
Citing Biden’s statements, Ravanchi said Iran wished to see the new president make great on his pledges and if he did, Tehran would be all set to as soon as again abide by the regards to the accord.
” The ball remains in the U.S. court,” Ravanchi said.
” It is totally up to the brand-new administration. So as quickly as they execute their commitments, Iran has said on various celebrations that Iran will return to the complete execution of its endeavors.”
Despite Iran’s contention that the very first relocation is up to Washington, members of Biden’s nationwide security group have suggested the new administration was not on the verge of a quick choice to rejoin the nuclear deal.
” We are a long method from there,” Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice for secretary of state, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 19.
Blinken said the administration would initially need to examine if Iran was abiding by the nuclear contract. Avril Haines, Biden’s option as director of nationwide intelligence, likewise showed at her Senate verification hearing that there was no impending decision beginning going back to the agreement.
Because Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, Iran has actually gradually breached the deal’s limitations on uranium enrichment, diminishing the time it would consider the program to secure nuclear weapons. Nuclear professionals say that Iran’s “breakout time” to protect sufficient weapons-grade product for an atomic bomb has dropped from 12 months when the contract came into force to about three to four months.
Ravanchi said Iran does not seek a nuclear toolbox and merely wants to build an atomic energy program for civilian purposes.
Ravanchi said it would be “absurd” for Iran to take conciliatory actions now when it was the U.S. that breached the 2015 agreement by withdrawing.
” Words are not enough. We need to see action on the part of the United States,” he stated.
Reviving the deal likewise could be complicated by the imprisonment of another American in Iran. Just weeks after Biden was elected in November, and 3 days after an Iranian nuclear researcher was assassinated, Iranian authorities convicted and imprisoned an Iranian-American business person, Emad Shargi, on spying charges, NBC News formerly reported.
Ravanchi did not comment particularly on the case however stated Iran would be open to an exchange of Iranian nationals apprehended in the United States in return for American people sent to prison in Iran.
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” We are ready to engage on a detailed exchange of all detainees or detainees on both sides, in the United States, in Iran, and those that are waiting to be extradited to the United States. And this is a very easy and uncomplicated proposal,” Ravanchi stated.
Biden’s candidate for secretary of state, Blinken, told senators last week that securing the release of Americans held in Iran or elsewhere abroad would be a top concern.
Ravanchi likewise reiterated Iran’s vow that it would retaliate for the killing of top Gen. Qassem Soleimani a year ago, though he did not specify what form that action would take.
He stated that ex-President Trump “started a really hazardous video game by assassinating General Soleimani. And we said that this can not be unpunished. This is our position.”
Soleimani, among the country’s most powerful military and political figures, was the leader of the Quds Force, the abroad functional arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, established in the wake of the Iranian transformation in 1979.
Before killing Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad, the Trump administration had actually pointed to Iran as the source of attacks against U.S. servicemen and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, alleging that Soleimani had prepare for extra attacks versus American interests in the area.