News ID: 87359
Publish Date : 06 February 2021 - 22:26

FM Zarif: Time Running Out for Americans

TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran’s foreign minister urged Washington to act fast to return to the nuclear accord, pointing out that legislation passed by parliament forces the government to harden its nuclear stance if U.S. sanctions are not eased by Feb. 21.
Muhammad Javad Zarif also referred to elections in Iran in June.
"Time is running out for the Americans, both because of the parliament bill and the election atmosphere that will follow the Iranian New Year,” Zarif said in an interview with Hamshahri newspaper published on Saturday.
Iran’s new year begins on March 21.
The parliament passed the legislation in December that set a two-month deadline for an easing of sanctions.
Despite President Joe Biden's pledge to return to the path of diplomacy, Iran is losing patience with his administration's recent signals to retain illegal sanctions on the Islamic Republic as a bargaining chip for now.  
Tehran has insisted that Washington ease sanctions before it resumes compliance, and ruled out negotiations on wider security issues.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Iran on Friday in a virtual meeting with his British, French and German counterparts as the group weighed how to revive the deal.
"The more America procrastinates, the more it will lose … it will appear that Mr. Biden’s administration doesn’t want to rid itself of Trump’s failed legacy,” Zarif said in the interview.
That will also show to the world that the new U.S. administration has not distanced itself from its predecessor "and that’s dangerous for the U.S.,” he added.
Zarif said. "We don’t need to return to the negotiating table. It’s America that has to find the ticket to come to the table.”
He called on Biden to immediately fix the wreak of a foreign policy that Trump left behind as he left office on January 20.
Iran retaliated to the sanctions by reducing its voluntary compliance in a step-by-step response. Last month, it resumed enriching uranium to 20% at its underground Fordow nuclear plant.
"The E3 and the U.S. discussed how a united approach could address our shared concerns towards Iran,” tweeted British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, with E3 referring to the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Twitter described the talks as an "important conversation on Iran” and handling nuclear and regional security challenges "together.”