Iran in No Rush to Hold Talks with Washington: UN Envoy

Iran in No Rush to Hold Talks with Washington: UN Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s UN ambassador told NBC News on Monday that the Islamic Republic has no plans to hold talks with the Biden administration and is waiting for the new US president to take the first step to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

In his interview with NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, Majid Takht Ravanchi said Iran has not spoken to the new US administration yet and was in no rush to do so.

"No, there has not been any conversation between Iran and the US after Biden came into office," Ravanchi said.

Asked if there were plans to open up a direct dialogue with Washington or indirect communication through an intermediary, perhaps via the Swiss government, Ravanchi said, "We are not planning to initiate anything."

The Swiss foreign ministry handles any official US communication with Iran, because Washington has no embassy in Tehran and no formal diplomatic relations with Iran.

Echoing similar statements from Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian diplomat said Tehran was not in a rush to hold talks with the US administration until the US honored its commitments and returned to the nuclear agreement it left in 2018.

"It's up to the US to decide what course of action to take. We're not in a hurry," he said.

As a candidate, Biden said he would have the United States return to the agreement if Iran met its obligations under the deal.

Citing Biden's statements, Ravanchi said Iran wanted to see the new president make good on his promises and if he did, Tehran would be ready to once again abide by the terms of the accord.

"The ball is in the US court," Ravanchi said.

"It is totally up to the new administration. So as soon as they implement their obligations, Iran has said on numerous occasions that Iran will return to the full implementation of its undertakings."

Meanwhile, in an interview with Tasnim News Agency this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlighted the country’s push to seek compensation for the US’ withdrawal from the deal.

“The (JCPOA) Joint Commission holds meetings every three months at the level of deputy ministers. Talks are held in the meeting, and one of the topics that will definitely be discussed is the issue of compensation. One of the subjects for talks will certainly be on how to carry out (the deal),” Zarif added.

The foreign minister said Iran had sent several letters to the JCPOA Joint Commission during Obama’s tenure about Washington’s failure to honor the nuclear deal, noting that Tehran will proceed with such a method.

“However, we should not forget that the US has never been known as a law-abiding state in the world, not during Trump’s term alone,” Zarif added, saying the US policies have disgraced it in the world.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 between Iran and six world states —the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China— and was ratified in the form of Resolution 2231.

However, the US under former president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted by the deal.

As the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain and compensate for Washington’s absence, Iran moved in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments.

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