Iran’s foreign minister said Sunday that US President Joe Biden should show some “goodwill”, if his statements about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are serious.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who was speaking at a meeting of officials dealing with foreign economic relations in Tehran, referred to Washington’s requests for direct talks with Iran and said that the United States should show goodwill. He emphasized that Tehran had asked the USto release some of Iran’s frozen funds prior to a final nuclear agreement but had received no positive reaction.
Amor-Abdollahian first made a direct demand in September 2021, while visiting New York, for the US to greenlight the release of $10 billion from Iran’s frozen funds.
Amir-Abdollahian once again on Sunday reiterated that Iran stands and will continue to stand on its “red lines” in the Vienna nuclear talks.
“The Americans continuously speak of the need for direct talks with Iran. After examining the issue and considering the views the Americans have, we did not find a benefit in direct talks,” he said. Amir-Abdollahian added, that the US “has not done anything positive” to provide confidence.
The chief Iranian diplomat’s remarks did not seem to be suggesting a new formal pre-condition for an agreement in Vienna, but it did appear that he wanted to emphasize the need for some sort of “goodwill” by the Biden Administration.
The negotiations stalled in mid-March after 11 months of talks among the original signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement known as JCPOA, apparently because of Iran’s demanded from the US to remove its Revolutionary Guard from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
At one point in his remarks, Amir-Abdollahian said that talks came to a halt after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Western side told Iran that even if all outstanding issues were resolved, Russia would not agree to finalize a deal. In fact, Russia did make a new demandright before the talks ended in Vienna asking the US for waivers from Ukraine sanctions in its dealings with Iran.
Amir-Abdollahian maintained that instead of showing any goodwill, the United States imposed new sanctions on certain Iranian individuals and companies. He suggested that President Biden could release frozen funds with just one “executive order.”
He repeated that Tehran told Washington, “Not to create hurdles” and delay an agreement. “If our red lines are observed,” we can reach a good and lasting agreement, and now “it is the American side that must demonstrate goodwill,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
He added that the diplomatic path is open and claimed that the three European participants in the talks, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are also unhappy about unreasonable American demands.
The foreign minister emphasized that the people of Iran should know the government is striving for an agreement and lifting of sanctions, but he also repeated government’s policy of self-reliance in overcoming the impact of sanctions.
Iran’s economy continues to struggle amid a 40-percent annual inflation rate and a host of other serious issues mainly caused by US sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump after he withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. Criticisms and a general mood of despair has intensified in recent weeks as food prices continue to climb, and the government has no immediate solution to offer.