Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that Tehran is still “exchanging messages” with the US on the nuclear deal and that an agreement is still possible.
“There is still a possibility and a chance to resume the implementation of the nuclear deal,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said. “Efforts are underway with the European coordinator and other mediators, including the foreign ministries of neighboring countries, to exchange messages to reach an agreement.”
Nuclear deal talks appeared to be stalled and an agreement seemed unlikely after the US rejected Iran’s latest response in public negotiations at the beginning of September. But Kanani said that the deal could still be salvaged if the US has the political will.
“If the other side, particularly the US government, shows political will, it is possible that a deal will be concluded in a short period,” Kanani said.
Kanani’s comments came after Iran released two detained Iranian-Americans amid rumors of a potential prisoner swap. Iranian media said Tehran expected the US to release $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds after the two Americans were released, but a State Department spokesperson rejected the idea that was part of the deal.
Kanani also criticized the US for imposing new sanctions on Iran amid negotiations, saying it was not a constructive approach. He said the US “needs to abandon its addiction to sanctions and take on a constructive approach.”
President Biden on Monday said the US was going to impose “further costs” against Iran over its response to anti-government protests that have taken place in the country, signaling even more sanctions are on the way.
The Biden administration has maintained a hard-line approach to Iran by expanding the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” that was started by the Trump administration following its withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018.