(Photo Credit: AP)
The Iranian Foreign Ministry affirmed on 5 December that Tehran will not proceed with nuclear talks with the US under pressure; however, it welcomes bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia.
Spokesman of Iran’s foreign ministry Nasser Kanaani clarified that Iran is committed to proceeding with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but that the US withdrew from the negotiations and placed several more sanctions on Iran during a period of national insecurity sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.
A day prior, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that the US is supporting the recent violence in order to force the country into proceeding with the negotiations.
The foreign minister said this a day after US special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, insinuated that Washington should focus on supporting protesters in Iran rather than concentrate on nuclear talks.
He added: “Iran is still committed to the negotiation process and seeks to resolve it, but it will not negotiate based on the need for negotiations,” further noting that “the west’s need for negotiation is no less than Iran’s need for it … the agreement is available and the concerned parties can reach it as soon a possible.”
In late November, Iran enriched uranium by 60 percent purity as reprisal for a recent statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which demanded explanations for the recent enrichment, as well as cooperation from Tehran.
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 to place restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. However, the US unilaterally pulled out of the deal to establish “maximum pressure” under former US president Donald Trump’s government.