Daily US Times: President Joe Biden says he will not lift US sanctions against Iran until it complies with the terms agreed under a 2015 nuclear deal.
President Biden was speaking in a CBS News interview aired on Sunday.
But Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, said Tehran would only return to compliance if the US first lifted all economic sanctions.
The deal sought to limit Iran’s nuclear programme, with sanctions eased in return.
But former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, leading Iran to roll back on a number of its commitments.
Iran has been increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear bombs.
Under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal – an agreement reached between Iran, the US, Germany, Russia, China, France and the UK – Tehran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors to access sites and facilities.
In return, US sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted.
But Mr Trump withdrew the US from the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in an effort to force Iran, which says its nuclear programme is peaceful, to negotiate a new accord, and reinstated economic sanctions.
Mr Trump wanted to place indefinite curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme and also halt its development of ballistic missiles.
Iran refused. In July 2019, Tehran breached the 3.67% cap on uranium enrichment and in January this year announced it had resumed enriching uranium to 20% purity. Weapons-grade uranium is 90% purity.
In a short clip of the interview published before the full broadcast at 16:00 EST on Sunday, President Joe Biden was asked if he would halt economic sanctions to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table, and he replied: “No.”