Iran on Sunday rejected a proposal to barter immediately with the US in a casual assembly proposed by Europeans to revive the nuclear deal that President Donald J. Trump exited almost three years in the past.
A spokesman for Iran’s international ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, mentioned latest actions taken by Washington and Europeans had led Iran to conclude that the “time was not proper” to carry such talks. His remarks got here days after President Biden ordered retaliatory strikes in opposition to Iranian-backed militias in japanese Syria that have been tied to latest assaults in opposition to American and allied personnel in Iraq.
“There was no change in America’s positions and actions,” Mr. Khatibzadeh mentioned in a international ministry assertion. “The Biden administration has not put aside Trump’s most strain coverage, nor has it introduced its commitments” beneath the 2015 nuclear deal deserted by Mr. Trump.
Mr. Biden has mentioned the US will return to the deal if Iran first returns to the commitments it made when it was signed. Iran has demanded that the U.S. carry all sanctions in opposition to it, and it has not too long ago taken steps to extend uranium enrichment and restrict the entry by worldwide inspectors to its nuclear websites.
That deadlock prompted European signatories to the deal to recommend a casual assembly wherein the People would attend as a visitor and the 2 sides would get the chance to interact immediately.
Privately, American officers have expressed confidence that the timing questions could possibly be resolved, noting that when the nuclear deal was being implement in early 2016, Iran and the US engaged in a sequence of exactly coordinated actions that eradicated the query of who was making the primary transfer.
However the political sensitivities are excessive.
Mr. Biden is conscious that Republican opponents of the deal are searching for any indicators that his new administration is making concessions with out getting something in return. And Iran has a presidential election in lower than 4 months, which means no Iranian officers need to seem like bending to American will.
Thus far, Mr. Biden has blended a willingness to re-engage in diplomacy with modest army pushback to Iran’s assist of proxy militias in Iraq and elsewhere.
The nice-will gestures included an abandonment of a failed effort by the Trump administration to pressure the re-imposition of United Nations sanctions that date to earlier than the 2015 deal. Mr. Trump argued that since Iran had resumed the manufacturing of nuclear materials at ranges prohibited by the accord, these sanctions ought to robotically snap again into place.
The State Division additionally eased journey restrictions on Iranian diplomats coming to the United Nations and accepting Europe’s invites to direct talks.
However then got here Mr. Biden’s determination to order army strikes Thursday on a number of buildings utilized by the Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah and different teams in japanese Syria close to the Iraqi border. The strikes have been a response to a rocket assault on Feb. 15 in northern Iraq that killed one civilian contractor and wounded an American service member and members of coalition troops.
Mr. Biden mentioned the strikes have been aimed toward sending a message to Iran that “you may’t act with impunity — watch out.”
The escalating army tensions coincided with Iran weighing whether or not it will meet with the People, a notion that’s simply as unpopular inside Iran’s conservative factions as it’s amongst many Republican leaders in the US.
A White Home spokesman mentioned Sunday that the US was “dissatisfied” by Iran’s rejection of the talks however that “we stay able to re-engage in significant diplomacy,” Reuters reported.
Henry Rome, a senior analyst who follows Iran for the Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy, mentioned Iran’s determination partially mirrored its leaders’ need to look resilient within the face of U.S. strain.
“That is removed from a demise knell for negotiations,” he mentioned in an e mail.
In his remarks Sunday, Mr. Khatibzadeh mentioned Iran would reply in type to each strain and concessions from Washington.
Iran, he mentioned, will “return to our commitments” in sanctions are lifted. However, he warned, it is going to additionally “reply to aggressive actions accordingly.”
Mr. Rome mentioned the standoff made clear how “messy” reviving the dealt may show.
“Even when the general path of journey is evident,” he mentioned, “Washington and Tehran will zig and zag in efforts to construct up leverage and deal with their very own home political issues.”
Rick Gladstone contributed reporting.