TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – Iran has said that there is an “uninterrupted exchange of messages” between Tehran and Washington to salvage the nuclear deal, contrary to public statements made by US officials.
Speaking on the sidelines of a government meeting in Tehran, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian termed recent statements by Rob Malley, US envoy for Iran affairs, “hypocritical”, saying the two sides continue to exchange messages, the last of which came “within past 72 hours”.
Malley had said in Paris on Monday that the door was open to resuming diplomacy with Iran, but for now, the Biden administration would continue the policy of “sanctions and pressure”.
“Our focus is not an accord that isn’t moving forward, but what is happening in Iran, this popular movement and brutal crackdown of the regime against protesters,” Malley said.
Amir-Abdollahian said the American side, through other foreign ministers, has been sending messages to Iran that they are “in a hurry” to revive the nuclear deal but tell media that the deal “is not the priority”.
The indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have remained suspended since August due to a standoff over UN nuclear watchdog’s probe into three undeclared nuclear sites in Iran.
Tensions between the two sides have heightened in recent months following sweeping protests in Iran over the death of a young Iranian woman in police custody as well as allegations that Iran supplied drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.
Amir-Abdollahian vowed a “reciprocal and effective” response to what he called an “unconstructive” move to call a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the situation in Iran.