Iran turns down nuclear talks with US

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna Austria

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna Austria

The Biden administration is disappointed after Iran rejected an offer by the European Union to partake in nuclear talks with the USA and the other signatories of the nuclear deal on Sunday, but said they remain open to diplomacy with Iran.

Since Trump walked away from the deal in 2018, Iran has broken key commitments in the agreement created to keep the country from building atomic weapons.

The European Union's political director earlier this month proposed the informal meeting involving all parties of the Vienna deal, a proposition accepted by US President Joe Biden's administration.

In return, Iran started enriching uranium beyond the limit set by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"We will be consulting with our P5+1 partners on the best way forward", the spokesperson added, referring to the group of the five permanent members on the UN Security Council, plus Germany. "With sanctions in place, same still applies".

The nuclear accord has been nearing collapse since former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018.

This week Iran halted snap inspections of its nuclear facilities after a deal reached with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi that saw the country suspending short-notice visits from inspectors in exchange for the United Nations agency continuing its regular verification and monitoring activities for a period of up to three months.

Donald Trump to mark comeback with appearance at conservative conference
CPAC is often used as a launching pad for Republicans looking to run for president, so all eyes will be on Mr Trump. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington , on December 12, 2020.

The United States said on Sunday it was disappointed that Iran had ruled out an informal meeting to discuss ways to revive its nuclear deal with major powers, but said it remained ready to re-engage in meaningful diplomacy on the issue.

The talks would mark the first direct meeting between USA and Iranian officials since the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018.

Technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit, as officials and media visit the site, near Arak, 150 miles (250 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019.

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation has said that if United States sanctions are still not lifted after three months, it will start erasing the recordings. Censuring is NOT diplomacy. Biden administration officials said the withdrawal of the determination was meant to show goodwill toward its partners and at the same time had eased severe restrictions on the movement of Iranian diplomats posted to the UN. "This act neither needs negotiations nor a resolution in the [IAEA] Board of Governors".

Last Tuesday, Tehran stopped implementing the so-called Additional Protocol, which had enabled the IAEA to carry out snap inspections at undeclared locations.

But under the February 21 agreement, Tehran agreed to maintain the recording of extra data as specified by the 2015 deal for up to three months, and to let the IAEA access it at the end if sanctions were lifted.

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