Biden administrator accuses Iran of delaying nuclear prisoner exchange talks


The Biden administration lashed out at Iran on Saturday for accusing it of delaying a prisoner exchange plan to force a quick resumption of indirect nuclear talks.

The State Department criticized the scandalous comments by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, claiming that the United States and Britain were holding the exchange hostage to the talks on the bailout of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

In a pair of tweets from his verified account, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi said nuclear talks in Vienna could not resume until the inauguration of Iran’s hard-line president-elect in early August. We are in a period of transition as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital, he said.

The nuclear talks must therefore obviously await our new administration. This is what every democracy demands, Aragchi said.

He added that the US and Britain need to understand this and stop linking a ready-to-go humanitarian exchange with the JCPOA.

Keeping such an exchange hostage for political ends does neither, said Aragchi, who is Iran’s chief negotiator at the Vienna talks.

TEN PRISONERS of all stripes can be freed TOMORROW if the US and UK fulfill their end of the deal.

A sixth round of nuclear negotiations ended last month without a deal ahead of the Iranian presidential election won by Ebrahim Raisi. The United States has repeatedly stated that it is ready for a seventh round as soon as Iran is ready, while calling for the immediate release of American citizens detained in Iran.

Responding to Aragchi’s remarks, State Department spokesman Ned Price flatly rejected the request, denied there was already an agreement on an exchange, and said the United States was ready. to continue talks on prisoners even while awaiting the resumption of nuclear negotiations.

The comments are an outrageous effort to shift blame for the current deadlock on a potential mutual return to JCPOA compliance, Price said.

We are ready to return to Vienna to complete the work on a mutual return to the JCPOA once Iran makes the necessary decisions.

Price called Aragchi’s reference to the possible imminent release of 10 prisoners of all stripes as another cruel effort to raise hope in their families. If Iran was genuinely interested in making a humanitarian gesture, it would simply release the detainees immediately, ”he said.

Price did not respond to Aragchi’s claim that Iran is in the midst of a democratic transfer of power, but he denounced his reference to the United States and Britain holding the exchange of prisoners. Americans for years. “

Price said indirect detainee talks have progressed in the context of the Vienna nuclear talks and the delay in restarting this process is not helping.

But, while he said that the United States believes the talks on prisoners would be more effective in this context, he added that we are also ready to continue talks on the detainees during the current hiatus.

The Biden administration tried to reverse former President Donald Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the nuclear deal and offered sanctions relief in return for Iran returning to full compliance with its obligations.

As the Trump administration stepped up its maximum pressure campaign against Iran by reimposing sanctions that had been lifted as part of the original deal, Iran stepped up its violations of the deal by using advanced centrifuges and by increasing uranium enrichment and heavy water production.

He also declined to answer questions from the UN atomic watchdog about potential violations of other nuclear commitments.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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