(PatriotWise.com)- In the ongoing drama over restarting direct negotiations between Iran and the United States, this week, Iranian officials renewed their demand that the US lift sanctions before the “presumably final round” of talks to reboot the 2015 nuclear deal.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said what is most important to Iran is that restrictions be lifted on the sale of Iranian oil and that oil money can be deposited in foreign currency in Iranian bank accounts.
Abdollahian added that Iran will take full advantage of the economic benefits considered in the deal.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters last week that time is running out on restarting the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He added that the full benefits of JCPOA are getting “increasingly problematic” as Iran continues to make advances on its nuclear program.
Blinken faulted the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the deal in 2018, calling it “one of the worst decisions made in American foreign policy in the last decade.”
In making that claim, Blinken seems to have forgotten all about Biden’s bungled Afghanistan withdrawal.
The Biden administration has refused to make any major unilateral concessions to Iran, but at the same time, has affirmed that the US would return to the 2015 deal if Iran would do likewise.
The process has been slowed largely by the inability of Iran and the United States to agree on direct dialogue. Thus far, there have only been “indirect talks” through other signatory countries from the original deal – France, the UK, Germany, China, Russia, and the EU.
Iranian officials view China as their only ally in these negotiations while portraying the European powers as the “bad cop.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters last week that the primary culprit in the Iranian nuclear crisis is the United States. He demanded that the US overhaul its “maximum pressure” policy on Iran and lift all sanctions. Zhao also demanded that the US’s “long-arm jurisdiction” on third parties (AKA China) also be lifted. Only then, Zhao said, would Iran return to full compliance.