DUBAI – A senior Iranian security official on Saturday accused President Joe Biden of illegally threatening Iran after saying he could consider other options if nuclear diplomacy with Tehran failed.
“The emphasis on using ‘other options’ against (Iran) amounts to unlawfully threatening another country and establishes Iran’s right to reciprocate (…)
Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during the White House talks on Friday that he was putting “diplomacy first” in an attempt to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but that if negotiations failed he would be prepared to turn to other options not specified.
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The UN atomic watchdog said in a report released this month that Iran has ramped up its uranium enrichment to near military-grade level, a move that increases tensions with the West. as the two sides seek to resume talks on relaunching Tehran’s nuclear deal.
Indirect US-Iran talks in Vienna have been suspended since the end of the last round on June 20 as Iran’s new government led by radical President Ebrahim Raisi prepared to take over.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Saturday drew a parallel between the Biden administration’s approach to the nuclear deal and that of former President Donald Trump, who withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions against Iran.
“The current US administration is no different from the previous one because it demands in different terms what Trump demanded of Iran in the nuclear field,” Khamenei said during his first meeting with Raisi’s cabinet, quoted by state television.
Trump’s withdrawal from the deal was aimed at putting pressure on Iran to negotiate tighter restrictions on its nuclear program, ballistic missile development, and support for regional proxy forces. Tehran has rejected Washington’s demands.