Sunday , 14 July 2024

US says not ready to resume nuclear talks with Iran under Pezeshkian

iranintl – The Biden administration is not ready to resume nuclear talks with Iran under the new president, the White House national security council spokesman said Monday.

In his presidential campaign, Iran’s president-elect Masoud Pezeshkian advocated engagement in constructive talks with Western powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and to lift the sanctions that he says have crippled the Iranian economy since the withdrawal of the US from the agreement in 2018.

Asked whether Pezeshkian’s election will change the US negotiating position, the White House’s John Kirby offered a blunt “no”.

“They’re still supporting terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. They’re still supporting the Houthis as the Houthis attack ships in the Red Sea. They’re still attacking shipping as well. And they’re still supplying drones and drone technology and drone expertise to the Russians so that the Russians can continue to kill innocent Ukrainians like they did over the weekend,” Kirby told a press conference. “So no, no.”

He said Washington does not expect any change in Iran’s behavior after the election of Pezeshkian. “We’ll see what this guy wants to get done but we are not expecting any changes in Iranian behavior.”

The US State Department earlier said that the Iranian elections will not have a major impact on the Biden administration’s approach to Iran.

“The elections will not have a significant impact on our approach to Iran… Our concerns about Iran’s behavior are unchanged. At the same time, we remain committed to diplomacy when it advances American interests,” a State Department spokesperson told Iran International.

While the Biden administration has tried to keep Pezeshkian at arm’s length, the EU has welcomed his win, offering an olive branch to the Islamic Republic’s new administration despite warnings by Iranian opposition figures and dissidents against any “appeasement” with Pezeshkian.

Nabila Massrali, the spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, extended congratulations to Pezeshkian, saying the EU stands ready to engage with his administration.

“We are ready to engage with the new government in line with EU policy of critical engagement,” Massrali tweeted on Saturday.

Several Iranian opposition figures have called on Western powers not to engage with the new government of Iran.