Iran has rejected the offer of talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal after insisting the US should first lift sanctions.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday the “time isn’t ripe” for the informal meeting proposed by the European Union.
He also referenced former president Donald Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure,” which involved the US withdrawing from the nuclear deal in May 2018.
“Remember: Trump failed to meet because of his ill-advised ‘Max Failure’,” he said. “With sanctions in place, same still applies. Censuring is NOT diplomacy. It doesn’t work with Iran.”
The Biden administration said the US was “disappointed” in the rejection but remained open to talks with Iran.
A senior administration official said the US would be consulting with the other participants — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union — on the way forward.
Joe Biden has said repeatedly that the US would only return to the deal when Iran moves back into full compliance with its terms, under which its nuclear activities were limited and open to inspection.