Iranian FM asks US to thaw $10 billion freeze to resume nuclear talks

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirollahian, said on Saturday that Iran said it had told the United States that it would consider returning to nuclear talks only if the Foreign Ministry released $10 billion in Tehran’s frozen funds as a sign of goodwill.

The Americans tried to contact us through various channels. [at the UN General Assembly] In New York, I told the mediators that if America’s intentions are serious, a serious indication is needed… Release at least $10 billion in withheld funds, Amirbad Allahian told Iranian state television: Reuters quotes.

“They are not ready to release $10 billion from the Iranian nation’s property so that we can say that the Americans looked once in the past decades to the interests of the Iranian nation,” Amirollahian said.

Iran says tens of billions of dollars of its assets are withheld in foreign banks due to US sanctions.

Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Renewal of alerts Time was running out for Iran to return to the nuclear deal, saying it was up to Tehran to act.

“The ball is still in his court, but not for long,” Blinken told reporters on Friday.

“There is a limited path in it, and the path is getting shorter,” he said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken meets with local union leaders on September 30, 2021 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Rebecca Droke, Pool)

Blinken reiterated that US President Joe Biden was willing to have the United States return to a 2015 agreement in which Iran drastically reduced its nuclear activities in exchange for promises of economic relief.

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Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reimposed sweeping sanctions, which Iran wants to remove before canceling a series of non-compliance measures it had taken. Iran says all steps are reversible.

“Merely returning to the terms of the JCPOA at some point will not be enough to restore the benefits of the agreement due to the progress Iran has made,” Blinken said.

In this photo, taken from an April 17, 2021 video released by the state broadcaster of the Islamic Republic of Iran, several centrifuges line up in a room at the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz. (IRIB via AP)

Blinken said the Biden administration has been engaging “in good faith for several months” in indirect talks in Vienna with Iran to return to compliance.

Iran called for the talks to be halted in June due to a political transition in which hardline conservative Ebrahim Raisi became president, replacing Hassan Rouhani, who entered the nuclear deal and favored better relations with the West.

No date has been set for the resumption of talks, although Raisi said he supports diplomacy to end sanctions, and Amirbad Lahian said that would be “soon”.

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Sacha Woodward

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