Iran says its relations with neighbors are not tied to the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) or permission from the United States.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani tweeted on Friday in English that the “false dichotomy between JCPOA, of which Iran unlike US remains a party, and good ties between Iran and its neighbors, including Russia, doesn't hide the fact that indecision of the unfaithful US is the main hurdle for a deal.”
He added, “Our neighborly policy is not contingent on JCPOA or US permission.”
Kanaani made the comments in reaction to remarks by US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley who said Iran either agrees to return to the nuclear deal and mend its relations with the world or stick to Russia and become more isolated.
Following a trip to Tehran by Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, Malley, said on July 19 that Iran "can opt for a position of relative dependency on Russia ... or it can choose to come back into the deal that’s been negotiated."
Echoing the comment, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on July 20 that Iran has a choice; siding with Russia, or choosing the path of diplomacy and taking up the deal that has been on the table for some time now, to have an economic relationship with other countries around the world.
On July 21, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran is making efforts to strengthen relations with its Persian Gulf neighbors, UAE and Kuwait, noting that both countries will be sending their envoys to Tehran soon.