Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, noted:
- Recent measures taken by Washington and Europeans had led Iran to conclude that the «time was not right» to hold such talks;
- There has been no change in America’s positions and actions;
- Iran won’t hold bilateral talks with the U. S. until Washington changes course;
- In certain cases the Biden administration is even «worse» than the Trump administration.
Iran has demanded that the U.S. lift all sanctions against it, and it has recently taken steps to increase uranium enrichment and limit the access by IAEA inspectors to its nuclear sites.
That impasse prompted European signatories to the deal to suggest an informal meeting in which the Americans would attend as a guest and the 2 sides would get the opportunity to engage directly.
The New York Times stated:
- Privately, American officials have expressed confidence that the timing questions could be resolved, noting that when the nuclear deal was being put into effect in early 2016, Iran and the U.S. engaged in a series of precisely coordinated actions that eliminated the question of who was making the 1st move;
- Biden is aware that Republican opponents of the deal are looking for any signs that his new administration is making concessions without getting anything in return;
- And Iran has a presidential election in less than 4 months, meaning no Iranian officials want to appear to be bending to American will.
Henry Rome, a senior analyst who follows Iran for the Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultancy, believed:
- Iran’s decision in part reflected its leaders' desire to look resilient in the face of U.S. pressure;
- This is far from a death knell for negotiations;
- Washington and Tehran will zig and zag in efforts to build up leverage and handle their own domestic political considerations.