No Direct Contact with President Biden for Now, Says Iran

A top Iranian official has said that the Islamic Republic has had no contact with the administration of new US President Joe Biden, stressing that any possible talks could only be held within the "right format" of a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and major world powers.

"Currently, we are not interested in making any direct contact and we think that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the right format, and talks should be conducted in that framework," Press TV quoted Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi as saying in an interview with the Italian daily la Repubblica on Saturday.

He added that Iran has "realistic" demands from Biden's administration, which are "lifting of sanctions" by Washington and its returning to the nuclear deal.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani
Iran President Hassan Rouhani (File Photo: IANS) IANS

"I don't see other alternatives. We have negotiated in good faith and implemented the JCPOA in good faith. It is now up to the new (US) administration to correct the mistakes of their predecessors. The US is the party that has abandoned the agreement: it is up to them to decide what to do," Araqchi further said.

"We are ready to fulfil all our commitments as per the JCPOA provided that the Americans live up to their obligations and lift sanctions."

Uranium Enrichment Process

Former US President Donald Trump had unilaterally withdrawn the country from the JCPOA in May 2018.

As a result of the US' unilateral exit, Iran has surpassed JCPOA-stipulated limits on its uranium enrichment level and on its stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium.

Iran has also lifted JCPOA limitations on its nuclear research and development activities.

On January 4, the Islamic Republic launched 20 per cent uranium enrichment process as part of the country's Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions which was approved by the parliament in December 2020.