Iran refused a meeting with the United States and other world powers involved in the 2015 nuclear accord before sanctions are lifted.
“The US must first return to the nuclear agreement and lift its illegal sanctions on Iran … there is no need for negotiations for that,” Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday.
Iran would only recognize deeds and reciprocate with deeds, Khatibzadeh said. “We will return to our commitments as soon as sanctions are lifted,” he said, according to Isna news agency.
Iran will not respond to “gestures” and will not be intimidated by criticism from the US and the three European partners to the treaty – Germany, France and Britain, he said.
Tehran, however, will continue to cooperate with EU foreign affairs envoy Josep Borrell, the three European countries, known as the E3, and China and Russia, he said.
The administration of new US President Joe Biden said Sunday it was “disappointed” with Tehran’s reaction.
“While we are disappointed at Iran’s response, we remain ready to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with JCPOA [the Iran nuclear agreement] commitments,” a senior administration official told dpa.
The official said the US would consult with its international partners on the best way forward.
The nuclear dispute has recently intensified, as Tehran called on Washington to lift the crippling sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump which have plunged Iran into the worst crisis in its history.
Trump’s successor has expressed willingness to re-engage with international partners in the so-called P5+1 group in an effort to revive their tattered 2015 deal that had put strict limits on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Since Trump walked away from the deal in 2018, Iran has broken key commitments in the agreement designed to keep the country from building atomic weapons.
The leadership in Tehran recently restricted International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to nuclear facilities in the country.
Iran is also no longer abiding by its uranium enrichment commitments under the deal, both key elements in the Vienna deal.