The Iranian foreign minister said Saturday that US officials tried to discuss resuming nuclear talks last month, but insisted that Washington must first release $ 10 billion of Tehran’s frozen funds as a token of goodwill Reuters.
Iran has declined direct talks with the United States, and indirect talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon halted in June.
The United States used mediators at the United Nations last month to establish contact, Secretary of State Hossein Amirabdollahian told state television.
Iran has been unable to obtain tens of billions of dollars of its assets from foreign banks, mostly from oil and gas exports, due to US sanctions against its banking and energy sectors.
“The Americans have been trying to contact us through various channels (at the UN General Assembly) in New York, and I told the intermediaries that if America’s intentions are serious, then serious advice is required … by releasing at least $ 10 billion.” – Dollars in blocked money. âMinister said.
“They are not ready to release 10 billion dollars belonging to the Iranian nation so that we can say that in the last few decades the Americans have taken the interests of the Iranian nation into account,” Amirabdollahian said in a TV interview.
READ: Iran Denies US Request for UN Inspectors Access to Nuclear Sites
Western powers have urged Iran to return to negotiations, saying that time is up for Tehran’s nuclear program to go well beyond the limits set by the agreement.
Amirabdollahian reiterated that Iran would “soon” return to the stalled nuclear talks in Vienna and declined to give a date.
Tehran says its nuclear moves will be reversible if Washington lifts all sanctions. Iranian and Western officials said there are still many issues to be resolved before the deal can be revived.