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Iran warns Biden as it pushes ahead with plan to cut nuclear inspections

TEHRAN — President Joe Biden is pursuing the identical coverage towards Iran as his predecessor, the nation’s international minister mentioned Sunday, two days earlier than Tehran has threatened to cut again United Nations inspections of its nuclear amenities.

Mohammad Javad Zarif mentioned former President Donald Trump‘s coverage of “maximum pressure” was nonetheless being utilized to Iran in an interview with the English language information company, Press TV.

“The United States is addicted to sanctions, but they should know that Iran will not yield to pressure,” Zarif mentioned. “We are not seeking nuclear weapons.”

He additionally reiterated Tehran’s stance that Washington ought to take step one to reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which provided sanctions reduction to Iran in change for agreeing to curb its nuclear program.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, additionally identified as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran in a bid to isolate the nation and dramatically slash its oil exports.

In response Iran started violating a number of the deal’s nuclear limits and in December, lawmakers within the nation accepted a invoice that might suspend part of U.N. inspections of its nuclear amenities, if signatories don’t present reduction from sanctions by Feb. 23.

Iran may even halt the implementation of an extra protocol that permits U.N. inspectors to perform extra intrusive inspections to Iran’s nuclear amenities.

Zarif insisted this is able to not imply that Iran was abandoning the deal, however mentioned the U.S. should nonetheless elevate sanctions to rescue the pact. “All our steps are reversible,” he mentioned.

The Biden administration introduced final week that it was ready to hold talks with other world powers and Iran to talk about the deal, however each international locations have been at odds over who ought to take step one to revive the accord.

Zarif’s comparability of Biden’s strategy to Trump’s techniques on Iran is a sign of dissatisfaction with the present tempo and angle of the Biden administration, mentioned Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a Middle East safety analysis fellow on the Royal United Services Institute, a London assume tank.

“There was optimism that the Biden administration would have acted in a quicker manner when it comes to Iran,” Tabrizi mentioned. “Instead, one month in, it only stated its readiness to participate in talks last week — and for talks to translate into something concrete it will likely require some time.”

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Meanwhile, the top of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, met with with Iran’s atomic chief on Sunday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency mentioned final week the go to was aimed toward discovering “a mutually agreeable solution for the IAEA to continue essential verification activities in the country.”

Grossi is anticipated to transient the media on the outcomes of the talks afterward Sunday.

Ahead of the assembly, Iranian deputy international minister, Abbas Araqchi, informed Iranian state TV Saturday that the aim of Grossi’s go to was to “minimize possible damages” to collaborations between Tehran and IAEA.

He added that nuclear inspections might be lowered by 20 to 30 % after Feb. 23, however will nonetheless proceed.

Amin Khodadadi reported from Tehran, Yuliya Talmazan from London.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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