Tehran will only consider returning to nuclear talks if the US State Department demonstrates good will and unfreezes $10 billion of Iran’s frozen funds, the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Saturday, Times of Israel reports.
Speaking to a Iranian state TV, Amirabdollahian noted that when the Americans side has tried to contact them through different channels at the UNGA in New York, he told the mediators the US must release at least $10 billion of the Iranian blocked money if its intentions are really serious.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken renewed warnings last week that Iran is running out time to return to a nuclear deal, throwing the ball in Tehran’s yard. He also reiterated that President Biden was willing to return the US to the 2015 JCPOA accord which made Iran to drastically scale back nuclear work in return for economic relief.
After former US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal, he also reimposed sweeping sanctions that Iran also wants removed for Tehran to undo a series of noncompliant steps that it took.
Yet, he stressed that due to the progress Iran has made in the meantime, it won’t be enough for Tehran to simply get back to the terms of the JCPOA to recapture the benefits of the agreement.
Due to the political transition in which the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi became president, replacing Hassan Rouhani who entered the nuclear deal and favored better relations with the West, Iran initiated a break in the talks in June.
Though Raisi has said that he backs diplomacy to end sanctions, no date has been set yet for talks to resume although and Amirabdollahian said it will be soon.