Tehran slammed what it called Washington’s “contradictory” policies on Tuesday, after President Joe Biden vowed to increase pressure on Iran ahead of a visit to US allies in the Middle East.
Biden has been trying to restore the Iran nuclear deal that was abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump, but has refused to lift sanctions on the Islamic Republic until it is back in compliance with the deal.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post ahead of his visit this week to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Biden noted the “rapid acceleration” of Iran’s nuclear program after Trump “reneged on a nuclear deal that was working.”
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“My administration will continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Iran is ready to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, as I remain willing to do,” Biden wrote on Saturday.
Iran on Tuesday criticized the Biden administration for what it said was an inconsistent approach on the nuclear issue.
“Mr. Joe Biden’s emphasis on pursuing the policy of economic and diplomatic pressure against Iran is contradictory to the continued expression of the United States’ desire to revive the 2015 deal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.
The current US government “despite its slogans and demands to return to the agreement … follows the same approach (of the previous administration) with the continuation of sanctions and economic pressure,” he said.
The Biden administration has been engaged in talks since April 2021 with the goal of bringing the US back to the nuclear deal, including by lifting sanctions against Iran and ensuring that Tehran fully honors its commitments.
But on-and-off negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna have stalled since March and several issues remain unresolved between the United States and Iran.
In late June, Qatar hosted proxy talks between the US and Iran in a bid to get the Vienna process back on track, but those talks broke down after two days of no progress.
In his op-ed, Biden wrote that his trip was also intended to “work for greater stability in an important region of the world.”
Iran’s Kanani dismissed Biden’s comments as “a one-sided and unrealistic account of the US government’s policies in the West Asian region.”
The spokesman stressed that if US officials wanted “stability and security in the West Asian region … they should understand the new realities of the world and avoid trying to impose US values and unilateralism.”
The United States needed to “allow countries in the region to act based on their values, interests and realities and within the framework of regional cooperation to ensure their security and collective interests,” Kanani added.
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