Iran Refuses to Budge, Says US Economic Sanctions Will Not Stop Nuclear Program

Iran rebukes US for imposing fresh sanctions ahead of nuclear talks

Soon after the Joe Biden Administration blacklisted two Iranian government agencies and some officials on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in abuse of Human Rights, Tehran blasted Washington DC, saying that economic sanctions on the Iranian entities would not create leverage in Nuclear Talks.

Earlier on Tuesday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Special Units of Iran's Law Enforcement Forces and Counter-Terror Special Forces, and several top officers of these two agencies; claiming that they had abused Human Rights. Talking to the local media in Washington DC, a senior US official said: "They (the Iranians) believe that they could accumulate more enriched uranium at higher levels and use more advanced centrifuges as leverage for a deal that they think they could extract more from us and give less their part." He also said: "And, that's not a negotiating tactic that's going to work."

Ebrahim Raisi, Iran president-elect
Ebrahim Raisi, Iran president-elect Wikimedia Commons

Later, spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly criticized the US for imposing sanctions on government agencies at a time when the Western Powers were all set to revive the multilateral 2015 Nuclear Deal. "Washington fails to understand that 'maximum failure' and a diplomatic breakthrough are mutually exclusive," the spokesperson wrote on Twitter. He added: "Doubling down on sanctions won't create leverage, and is anything but seriousness and goodwill."

Khatibzadeh issued the statement after the US officials claimed that escalating nuclear program would not benefit Iran in the negotiations. Earlier on Friday, the seventh round of indirect talks between the two countries in Vienna failed to break the ice. Washington DC blamed Tehran for the failure, stating that Iran was not serious about reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

The US also expressed doubt over Iran's willingness to revive the JCPOA, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying: "What we've seen in the last couple of days is that Iran right now does not seem to be serious about doing what's necessary to return to compliance, which is why we ended this round of talks in Vienna."

Iran missile test
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran Reuters

However, the West Asian nation rejected the allegation, saying that the Iranian officials had submitted two proposals for securing a return to the deal, and also agreed to scale back its nuclear program. Unfortunately, the US was not ready to lift sanctions imposed on Iran. Time and again, Iran has urged the US to remove sanctions in order to restore the agreement.

It may be noted that last week's talks between the two belligerent nations in the Austrian capital were the first since conservative Ebrahim Raisi became the Iranian President in August 2021.