The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Tehran would not resume negotiations on the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, “under pressure” from the US.
“American officials know that the Islamic Republic of Iran, under pressures and threats, is not willing to negotiate or make concessions,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, according to the Iranian news agency MEHR.
Since JCPOA negotiations fell apart, the US has ramped up the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran by increasing sanctions. The US has also expressed support for protesters inside the country and participated in drills with Israel simulating attacks on the Islamic Republic.
Kanaani said that Iran is still dedicated to implementing the JCPOA and pointed out that it was the US that withdrew from the deal in 2018. He said that the European signatories — France, Germany, and Britain — have not done enough to offset US sanctions.
Robert Malley, President Biden’s special envoy for Iran, reaffirmed on Saturday that the administration is not interested in reviving the nuclear deal at this point. He said the US focus is on Iran’s alleged military support for Russia and how to support Iranian protesters.
“Right now, we can make a difference in trying to deter and disrupt the provision of weapons to Russia and trying to support the fundamental aspirations of the Iranian people,” Malley said.
In an interview with Foreign Policy last week, Malley said the US was supporting the Iranian protesters by “mobilizing international attention and putting the spotlight on what’s happening in Iran.”
He said the US is making sure “that Iranians have the ability to express themselves, to share through social media information with each other and with the outside world, by sanctioning those up and down the chain in Iran.”
Malley also said that the US would resort to a “military option” as a last resort to stop Iran’s nuclear advances, although the Pentagon recently acknowledged in its nuclear Posture Review that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon.