The U.S. has reaffirmed that it would not offer any unilateral incentives for talks with Iran. “We will not offer any unilateral gestures or incentives to induce the Iranians to come to the table,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at a daily press briefing on Thursday.
“If the Iranians are under the impression that absent any movement on their part to resume full compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) that we will offer favors or unilateral gestures, that’s a misimpression,” he added. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday made clear in a congressional hearing that Washington would not make concessions only to get a meeting with Tehran.
Blinken also dismissed media reports that South Korea would release frozen Iranian assets before Tehran “comes back into compliance” with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iranian government spokesperson Ali Rabiei claimed that Iran has $7 billion of funds blocked in Seoul. The move, in Tehran’s view, was authorized by Washington in order to force the country to return to full compliance with the nuclear accord.
In response, the Islamic republic hit out Thursday at the U.S. for sticking to what it called former President Donald Trump’s “failed policy,” saying such an approach would fail to salvage a nuclear deal. “U.S. claims it favors diplomacy; not Trump’s failed policy of ‘maximum pressure,'” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.
“Yet (Blinken) boasts abt [about] blocking Korea from transferring our OWN money to the Swiss Channel – only used for food & meds,” he added, warning that repeating the same policy “won’t yield new results.”The U.S. and Iran are in a standoff over reviving the nuclear deal. The Biden administration said that if Iran returns to full compliance with the JCPOA, the United States would do the same. But Iran insisted its compliance would only take place once U.S. sanctions were removed.
In response to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 and the re-imposition of sanctions, Iran has suspended implementing parts of its obligations under the deal.