U.S. Calls for De-Escalatory Steps from Iran on Nuclear Program to Pave Way for Diplomacy
Spokesman emphasizes cooperation with IAEA as a crucial step in reducing tensions
The United States has called upon Iran to take "de-escalatory" actions in its nuclear program to create an opening for diplomatic negotiations, urging Tehran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.S. State Department announced on Tuesday.
This statement comes in the wake of growing concerns in Washington and its Western allies that Iran's nuclear program may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied by Iran.
State Department spokesman Matt Miller, during a recent press briefing, expressed the United States' displeasure with Iran's decision to deny access to multiple IAEA inspectors, thereby obstructing the international watchdog's oversight of Iran's nuclear activities.
"Iran must take de-escalatory steps if it wants to reduce tensions and create a space for diplomacy," Miller emphasized.
Miller further stated that Iran's recent actions, particularly its interference with IAEA inspections, had hindered the prospects of renewed U.S.-Iran talks. While he did not provide specific details about the required steps, he clarified that they pertained to Iran's nuclear program.
When questioned about whether Iran must fulfill all the U.S. demands before talks could resume, Miller replied, "I am not saying that."
The IAEA had been responsible for verifying Iran's compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under the JCPOA, Iran had agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for the easing of sanctions by the U.S., the European Union, and the United Nations.
Efforts to revive the JCPOA, which had been abandoned by the United States under the Trump administration in 2018, collapsed approximately a year ago. Since then, Washington has been exploring alternative avenues to persuade Tehran to restrain its nuclear program. The call for de-escalatory steps and cooperation with the IAEA represents the latest diplomatic maneuver by the United States in its ongoing efforts to address the Iran nuclear issue.