Iran’s Foreign Ministry has announced that it is unwilling to participate in EU-brokered talks with the United States on the future of the Iran nuclear deal because Washington has not done enough to lift the sanctions against Tehran.

The Biden administration, determined to revert to the 2015 nuclear deal, had said it was willing to attend the talks but would discuss what it would take to lift US sanctions at the negotiating table, and not before. He said he needed to know what steps Iran would agree to to come back into compliance with the deal.

It is not clear whether the new stalemate will be indefinite or whether mediators can still find a way to reassure Iran that it will be worth attending talks in the future.

Iran was deeply disappointed that the United States did not take more unilateral steps to revert to the nuclear deal Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

But it is likely that the United States and European powers will seek to table a motion of censure against Iran at a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency this week in Vienna, a decision which in turn could prompt Iran to cut its cooperation with the UN nuclear inspectors even further.

Explaining Iran’s refusal to attend the talks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday that “given the recent positions and actions of the United States and three European countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran is not do not consider this the time to have a proposed informal meeting. by the European coordinator of the UN Security Council ”.

Khatibzadeh stressed: “There has not yet been a change in the position and behavior of the United States, and the Biden administration has not only abandoned Trump’s failed policy of maximum pressure, it has not even announced its commitment to fulfill its responsibilities in UN resolution 2231. “

He said that the implementation of the obligations of all parties in the nuclear deal signed in 2015 “is not a matter of negotiation and compromise, since all compromises were made five years ago. The way forward is very clear: the United States must end its illegal and unilateral sanctions and return to its commitments. This does not require negotiation or resolution within the IAEA Board of Governors. “

He added that Iran would keep in touch with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.

One possible route for the talks is for the United States to lift restrictions on Iran’s access to assets abroad, including billions deposited in banks in South Korea and Iraq. He says fear of US sanctions has led banks in both countries to freeze more than $ 7 billion in Iranian assets. Iran has been in contact with Iraq and South Korea over the release of its assets.